Akhilesh elected as National President of SP for 5 yearsLast updated on Oct 05, 2017, 11:15 am
At Samajwadi Party's convention, Akhilesh Yadav was unanimously re-elected as the party's national president.
This implies that Akhilesh will head SP in 2019 LS elections and 2022 UP elections; the party's constitution was amended to allow him five years in the leadership role instead of three.
Akhilesh claimed his estranged uncle, Shivpal Yadav, has given his "blessings".
Let's see what it means for the party.
Samajwadi party experiences in-fighting
The SP rift allegedly began when Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP supremo, made son Akhilesh CM and overlooked brother Shivpal Yadav, who is one of the party's founders.
However, fissures reportedly increased over inflated egos as Akhilesh came into his own and stopped taking advice from Shivpal and Mulayam on "serious" matters.
From September to January, the two camps fired salvos and expelled each other.
Akhilesh emerges winner, takes control of the party
The feud reached a high point when on January 1, at the party's national convention, Akhilesh was declared SP's working national president. The convention also removed Shivpal from state unit president's post.
Subsequently, the two factions, one headed by Mulayam and other by Akhilesh, approached the EC and staked a claim to the party's bicycle symbol.
The EC ruled in favor of the Akhilesh faction.
2017 UP elections
SP fights Assembly elections under Akhilesh
After the Akhilesh faction got the party symbol, Shivpal was kept at an arm's length and Mulayam was sidelined.
He didn't participate in the campaigning for the 2017 UP Assembly elections, wherein SP, which joined hands with the Congress, suffered a drubbing with 47 seats, its lowest since its 1992 inception.
A major setback was its poor performance in its strongholds of Etah, Firozabad etc.
However, defeat in assembly elections didn't dent Akhilesh's leadership
Following the party's dismal performance, it was speculated that the two factions might unite.
However, Mulayam said he "regretted" making Akhilesh CM as SP wouldn't have suffered a defeat under him.
Akhilesh's followers didn't back down claiming that "everybody should know" and accept "that SP means Akhilesh now."
In the party legislator's meet, Akhilesh was declared SP's leader in UP Assembly and Council.
Now, Akhilesh's term extended till 2022
SP extends Akhilesh's national presidentship which implies that the party will fight the 2019 LS elections and 2022 Assembly elections with Akhilesh at the helm.
HT reports that "the Agra convention will reiterate party's faith in Akhilesh" and complete the generational change.
Presently, the party is holding lower level organizational elections to ensure that grassroot-level power is with Akhilesh's loyalists.
What does this mean for SP's future?
India Today says Mulayam may float a different party with brother Shivpal around Navratri.
Further, resolution to Akhilesh-Mulayam rift maybe difficult as their positions on issues are contradictory.
To clear the party's "goonda" image, Akhilesh is also sidelining Mulayam's loyalists.
He is also batting for the mahagathbandhan, which Mulayam is against.
Now, when SP gets its house in order remains to be seen.