New Delhi: Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday said he remains the party President and Akhilesh Yadav was only the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
"I am the National President of SP and Akhilesh is the Chief Minister of UP," Mulayam Singh told the media here. He added that the decision taken by Akhilesh supporters to replace him by the Chief Minister as the party chief was null and void.
Akhilesh Yadav continued to be the Chief Minister, he added, in a matter-of-fact statement that he did not recognize his son as the party boss that he (Akhilesh) claims to be.
Mulayam Singh also said Ram Gopal Yadav had been expelled from the Samajwadi Party and hence he had no right to call the national convention where Akhilesh Yadav replaced him (Mulayam) as the party chief.
On January 1, the Akhilesh faction dislodged Mulayam Singh as the party President and designated the former Chief Minister and ex-Defence Minister as the "marg darshak" (mentor).
Since then, both factions of the Samajwadi Party have approached the Election Commission to claim the election symbol "cycle" ahead of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Ram Gopal Yadav, a Rajya Sabha member, has emerged as a key strategist for Akhilesh Yadav in what has turned an initial family squabble into a full-fledged political battle in Uttar Pradesh.