On his 79th birthday, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh recalled the firing on kar sevaks in Ayodhya in 1990 and drew his son Akhilesh Yadav’s attention to what he felt was a growing grassroots disconnect of the party.
At a function organised by Mr. Akhilesh at the party headquarters to mark the occasion on Wednesday, Mr. Mulayam reminded his son that even after he had ordered the firing on kar sevaks and was dubbed the “killer of Hindus,” he was able to “win 105 seats” in the State election [in 1993] with the support of dedicated workers and youth.
In comparison, Mr. Mulayam said, it was “shameful” that the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP had won only 47 seats in the 2017 Assembly election, despite fulfilling promises made in its manifesto.
He mocked Mr. Akhilesh, the party president, for promoting leaders with no social base and gifting them plum posts despite poor performances. He said an SP leader managed to get the party only 12 votes in the polling booth in his village despite his family of more than 50 members.
Mr. Mulayam justified the firing on kar sevaks, which he said led to 28 deaths, as it was necessary to protect the “unity of the country.” If required, more would have been killed by the security forces, he added.
He urged the party leaders to “correct” their image among the people, and suggested his son to focus more on Muslims. The community stands like a rock beside the SP even today.