LUCKNOW: Lalu Yadav’s exercise in How to Win Friends and Influence People found no traction with Akhilesh Yadav, who took just minutes to reject the Bihar politician’s proposal on making peace with his father, Mulayam Singh. Lalu, as he is known, told reporters today that last night, he phoned Akhilesh Yadav, the 43-year-old Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and urged him to allow Mulayam Singh’s reinstatement as the president of the Samajwadi Party. Mulayam Singh, 77, has made that a precondition for any covenant with his son. Neither in-person meetings, including one this morning, nor go-betweens like Lalu have so far been able to bridge the gap that has grown so large as to rip the Yadavs into two parties facing off in the Uttar Pradesh election that starts next month. Lalu has said on different occasions that the Yadavs must stick together because if they contest the election separately, the BJP will gain. Akhilesh Yadav, who hijacked the title of party president from Mulayam Singh with the blessings of the bulk of their party members, told Lalu that after the election is completed, he will oversee his father’s return as Samajwadi President “with honour,” but not before then. Akhilesh Yadav believes that if his father is allowed charge of the party now, candidates and other crucial decisions for the election will be determined not by Mulayam Singh, but by aides Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh, who he holds responsible for whacking his family out of orbit. One of Lalu’s daughters is married to Mulayam Singh’s grand-nephew, who is close to Akhilesh Yadav, and sources say that if the Samjwadi family does split into two, the Bihar heavyweight will back the younger Yadav.