Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said he was prepared to contest against his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav if attempts to keep the party united fail.
Mulayam Singh Yadav made the remarks during a visit to the party office where he interacted with party members including state SP chief Naresh Uttam.
Uttam had been appointed state party chief by the faction led by Akhilesh Yadav.
A party worker, who was present at the meeting, told IANS that Mulayam Singh Yadav said he had been striving for unity in the party and "if Akhilesh does not agree, (I) will also contest against him" in the assembly election.
Uttar Pradesh will go for seven-phased election from Feb 11 for 403 seats. The Election Commission is expected to give its verdict on Monday on demand of the Samajwadi Party factions headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav for the party symbol "cycle".
Mulayam Singh is learnt to have told party members that he tried speaking to Akhilesh for rapprochement thrice but the latter did not respond properly.
Mulayam Singh also said the Muslim community was "angry" as the Akhilesh government "had not worked for them" in the last five years.
The party founder is learnt to have blamed Akhilesh for removal of some senior leaders from the party at the behest of Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav.