SP to meet Monday to take stock of electoral defeat
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has summoned party leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, for a meeting Monday to discuss the party's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha election.
The party will deliberate on the reasons for winning only five of the 78 seats it contested in the state.
A disappointed Mulayam Singh is likely to give a dressing down to ministers and legislators as he had warned them in advance that they would be held accountable if the party candidates lose in party strongholds.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is likely to be told that his government's work in the last two years did not help in lifting the spirits of party workers or impress voters.
The five seats were won by Mulayam Singh's family members.
Mulayam Singh won from Mainpuri and Azamgarh, while his nephews - Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay - won from Budaun and Firozabad respectively. Dimple Yadav, wife of the chief minister, scraped through in Kannauj where she had won unopposed in the 2012 by-polls.
With his national clout fading, senior leaders said Mulayam Singh is likely to "get cracking" on a "course correction mode".
"There is very little choice before the party leadership and I am sure many heads will roll, both in the government and the party organization," said a close aide of the party supremo.
The aide also said a "large scale shake up in the state bureaucracy was also in the offing".
Many in the party blame officials for tardy progress in development and welfare schemes of the government and said the chief minister is also likely to take some hits at the meeting.
The party's own assessment had suggested 15-18 seats. The results came as a body blow to the party and to Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was eyeing the prime minister's chair.
The party's tally has slipped from 21 in 2009 to just five in 2014. Other than this, the party has also lost three state assembly seats in the by-polls to the BJP combine.
In constituencies such as Barabanki, Pratapgarh, Gonda, Ambedkarnagar, Amroha and Faizabad, the party has been pushed to the fourth place.
However, many feel the outcome of Monday's meeting will not be of much consequence if the party fails to admit its shortcomings and failure to connect with the electorate.
"Blame game like that of Mayawati will not be enough. Accountability will have to be fixed and action needs to be taken," a senior minister told IANS.
(Posted on 19-05-2014)