Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was unanimously elected as the leader of the SP legislature party at a meeting of the newly elected party MLAs here on Saturday.
The SP president, who won from Karhal in Mainpuri, is now set to become the leader of opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. He had recently resigned from his Lok Sabha membership from Azamgarh.
Uttar Pradesh SP chief Naresh Uttam announced Yadav’s election as the leader of the legislature party.
Under Yadav’s leadership, the SP will raise various issues concerning people in the Assembly, counter any false claim made by the state government and oppose its wrong policies, Uttam said.
When the SP legislature party meeting was underway, Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav who has been elected MLA from his traditional Jaswant Nagar seat in Etawah on an SP ticket told reporters that he has not been invited to attend it.
“I have no information about the meeting. I tried to contact SP leaders but I have not got any information about it. Under these circumstances, it will not be correct for me to go to the legislature party meeting,” Shivpal Singh Yadav said.
“I have always said that I will fulfil whatever responsibility I am given, but I was not called for the legislature party meeting though I am an MLA from Samajwadi Party,” he added.
Asked about Shivpal Singh Yadav not being invited, Naresh Uttam clarified, “Only Samajwadi Party MLAs were called for today’s meeting. On March 28, a meeting of MLAs of the alliance partners, irrespective of whether they had contested on ‘bicycle’ (SP symbol) or their party symbols, will be held.”
“Shivpal Singh has a party of his own and is an alliance partner and MLAs of all the alliance partners are being called for the meeting on March 28. Akhilesh Yadav will consult them and people’s issues will be raised in the house after discussion and in agreement with the alliance partners,” Uttam said.
Uttam said during the meeting, the newly elected MLAs lauded the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav.
“The MLAs have given their blessings to Akhilesh-ji to raise various issues faced by people in the Assembly and forcefully oppose false claims and wrong policies of the government.
“In the past too, the BJP government had from time to time misled the people and cheated them and therefore, the BJP has got lesser number of seats than last time. The people showed confidence in Akhilesh Yadav-ji and voted to make him the chief minister but with the misuse of power and official machinery, names of large numbers of SP supporters were removed from the voters’ list which is a black spot on democracy,” he alleged.
He also accused the BJP of using its “money power” in the elections.
Akhilesh Yadav defeated BJP MP S P Singh Baghel to win the Karhal seat by 60,000-odd votes in his first assembly contest.
In 2012, when he became the chief minister, he had opted to become a member of the legislative council.
The SP alliance together has 125 members in the 403-member assembly, including six MLAs of ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and eight of the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
In 2017, the SP had won 47 seats.