Despite family spat ,UP CM Akhilesh Yadav on Mercedes tour, makes time with wife and elders

Lucknow,Nov3:As he began his campaign in his hi-tech and refurbished Mercedes, Akhilesh Yadav was philosophical about the feud that has engulfed his family, and left him somewhat estranged from his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav.

After weeks of public battling, the Yadavs made an attempt at a show of family unity by ensuring that Mulayam Singh and his brother Shivpal Yadav were present as Akhilesh launched his campaign for the Uttar Pradesh election. Just two weeks ago, all three men hurled verbal darts at each other at a party meeting attended by hundreds.

“In Mahabharata and politics, the winner is the one who is right and on the path of good,” the 43-year-old Chief Minister said, acknowledging that the family dispute is epic.

“What happened is in the past. The presence of elders is encouraging,” said Akhilesh’s wife, Dimple, who is a member of parliament and is accompanying him on his state-wide tour, along with their three young children. Known for her reticence with the media, she said of the tour “We plan together. I give my inputs as and when asked.”

Dimple Yadav,who is the second of three daughters of retired Indian Army Col R. C. S. Rawat and Champa Rawat from Utharakhand,is the only woman MP who was elected unopposed  and has her husband who is CM of a state.

Akhilesh’s frequent conflicts with uncle Shivpal, whom he has expelled from his cabinet, have divided the party; father Mulayam Singh has made it clear that he’s on his brother’s side and said that if their Samajwadi Party is re-elected, there is no guarantee that Akhilesh will return as Chief Minister. In a contained response, Akhilesh has said his tour is dedicated to helping his father win the election.

He was circumspect today about whether the party should ally, as proposed by uncle Shivpal, with others like the Congress to form a large anti-BJP front. “When parties form alliance, they want to expand and do better. (But) the question is who loses or whose share shrinks in this situation?”