Lucknow, Jan 11: The split in Samajwadi Party (SP) is now inevitable as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has reportedly refused to step down as the Samajwadi Party president. Akhilesh Yadav was elected as Samajwadi Party president at the national executive meet called by Ram Gopal Yadav. Akhilesh Yadav’s father and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav termed the national executive meet as ‘unconstitutional’ and decisions taken there as ‘illegal’.

In a last-minute bid to buy peace in Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav met but the meeting was unsuccessful as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister refused to step down as Samajwadi Party national president. Sources said Mulayam Singh Yadav had agreed on some nagging points like larger say of Akhilesh Yadav in the selection of party candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, but the Chief Minister refused to accept most demands made by his father. These included stepping down as the national party president and withdrawing the petition filed before the Election Commission (EC).

Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday took and a U-turn and extended an olive branch to his son when he told media that Akhilesh Yadav would be Samajwadi Party’s chief ministerial candidate. But Akhilesh Yadav does not want to backtrack now and is ready to go alone even if the party symbol – cycle, goes to his father’s camp. Booting out Ram Gopal Yadav, who has mentored the Akhilesh Yadav camp in the past few months has also not been accepted by the Akhilesh camp. (ALSO READ: Akhilesh Yadav to meet Rahul Gandhi: A potential SP-Congress alliance could feature Priyanka Gandhi, Dimple Yadav as star-campaigners)

Mulayam Singh has refused to thaw towards Ram Gopal Yadav, who he has time and again blamed for misleading his son into rebellion and the January 1 coup against himself. His close aide Amar Singh and younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav also are daggers drawn with the Rajya Sabha member.

In an apparent indication that the Akhilesh Yadav camp was not willing to backtrack, Akhilesh’s camp announced three names of MLC (teachers constituency) polls. The statement addressed the UP Chief Minister as ‘Hon’ble National President’. The poll panel, which was petitioned by both factions for claim on the party symbol, has now summoned both factions on January 13. The ECI might freeze the ‘cycle’ symbol and give temporary symbols to both the rival factions for upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.