Even as Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh refused to withdraw his resignation from key party posts, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday tried to put up a brave face claiming there were no differences in the top echelons of the party.

While Mr. Yadav tried to downplay the crisis plaguing the party, a group of Muslim SP leaders, including three MLAs, have demanded the expulsion of Mr. Singh from the party and also sought his resignation as party’s Rajya Sabha member.

Mr. Singh insisted he had not quit the party posts due to any “anguish or unhappiness” but maintained that he would not take back his resignation and that he would no longer slog for the party.

In Saifai (Uttar Pradesh), Mr. Yadav tried to play down the developments within the party by claiming “there are no differences within the party. If at all there are issues, then it is the internal matter of our larger Samajwadi family which is united“.

The SP chief had on Monday said he had rejected Singh’s resignation from the posts of party’s national spokesperson, member of SP’s Parliamentary board and general secretary.

Mr. Yadav, who on Monday morning spoke to Mr. Singh over phone and invited him to participate in the Saifai Mahotsav, said “he (Amar) is ill and if he feels better, he will attend the festival”.

Requesting the media not to speculate too much about the developments within the party, Mr. Yadav said, “Within SP there is complete democracy where people are free to express their opinions. There are no differences between Amar Singh and Ram Gopal Yadav. Samajwadis don’t have differences.”

Ram Gopal Yadav (party general secretary and Mulayam’s cousin), who has been at the receiving end of Mr. Singh’s verbal barbs ever since he resigned from party posts last week, also chose to play down his differences with his party colleague. “There are no differences between myself and Amar Singh. He has described me as his elder brother. It is an issue of love between two brothers. When there are too many utensils, they are bound to make noise,” Mr. Ram Gopal said.

Meanwhile, none of the banners which had been put up in Saifai for the cultural festival (which SP holds every year), had Mr. Singh’s photograph on them. All the banners were, however, removed from the venue on Monday.

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