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After a gap of several months, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav were seen together at a public event here today, triggering speculation of a possible rapprochement.
The occasion was a function at the Lohia Park to mark the 50th death anniversary of socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia.
After paying floral tributes together at Lohia's statue, the father-son chatted amid slogan shouting by party workers. They later posed for shutterbugs.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was unseated as the SP chief by Akhilesh Yadav in January, moved in a golf cart with his son and waved at excited party workers.
Akhilesh Yadav, 44, touched the feet of his 77-year-old father, who is the SP patron.
Mulayam Singh Yadav's younger brother Shivpal Yadav was, however, conspicuous by his absence.
Earlier this morning, Mulayam Singh Yadav had visited the Lohia Trust office here and paid tributes to the socialist leader alongwith Shivpal Yadav.
Later, at the the SP headquarters, Akhilesh Yadav was asked about his relations with Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"If a father glosses over his son's mistakes, the child may lose way...There is fight of ideologies in every family," Akhilesh Yadav said, apparently referring to critical remarks made by Mulayam Singh Yadav in the past about his functioning.
After getting re-elected as the SP chief last week in Agra, Akhilesh Yadav had met his father in Lucknow to seek his blessings. Akhilesh Yadav drove down to his father's house on October 7 and spent over half an hour with him.
Before the Agra convention too, Akhilesh Yadav had met Mulayam Singh Yadav to invite him. However, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav had given it a miss.
The back-to-back meetings between the father and son kindled hopes of party workers of a reconciliation between them.
Apparently, to send a message that 'all is well' in the Yadav clan, Akhilesh Yadav had in Agra said that his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav had blessed and congratulated him over the phone.
Shivpal Yadav had also congratulated his nephew after his re-election as party chief on Twitter.
Both Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother were sidelined by Akhilesh Yadav after he became the SP chief at the party's national convention here on January 1.
Taking control after being allowed the 'bicycle' symbol by the Election Commission on January 16, Akhilesh Yadav has been going full throttle to consolidate his grip over the party.
Addressing media persons at SP headquarters, Akhilesh Yadav also lashed out at the BJP claiming that projects initiated by him were now being inaugurated after removing his plaques.
He asked party workers to gear up for the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2022 UP Assembly polls.
"This government is not doing any development and people have understood now," he said.
Akhilesh Yadav also attacked the Centre alleging the GST was implemented "without any preparations" causing hardships to the trader community.