Lucknow: The feud within the Samajwadi Party (SP) took another dramatic turn on Sunday after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked his uncle Shivpal Yadav, again, and three other ministers considered ‘Amar Singh loyalists’ from the state cabinet, as per reports.
“The chief minister said in the meeting that whoever is close to Amar Singh cannot be in my cabinet,” said Raju Yadav, a Mainpuri lawmaker who attended the meeting called by Akhilesh this morning. Last month Mulayam appointed Amar Singh the National General Secretary of the party, almost six years after he was removed from the party.
The other ministers believed to be sacked are Om Prakash Singh, Narada Rai, Shadab Fatim and Balram Yadav. Shivpal’s portfolios included irrigation, revenue, flood management and medical education. These were taken away from him last month, too, by Akhilesh, before a Mulayam Singh Yadav-brokered compromise reinstated them to Shivpal.
In this political drama, which is as much a family feud as it is a party feud, Mulayam and his brother Shivpal are on one side, while Akhilesh and Mulayam’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav are on the other. The tussle in the party began last month when Mulayam replaced Akhilesh with Shivpal to the post of UP party chief, and also expelled several youth leaders seen as close to Akhilesh.
The rift in the party comes at a most inopportune moment for it, as Uttar Pradesh heads to the polls early next year, and as the SP is already at a disadvantage, being the incumbent party.
Earlier this morning, Ram Gopal+ stumped for Akhilesh saying being with him means being with the winning side.
“Those who oppose Akhilesh won’t be able to show their faces in the legislative assembly. Where Akhilesh is, victory follows,” Ram Gopal said in a letter released to party workers today, ahead of Akhilesh’s meeting. Ram Gopal also asked party workers to strengthen Akhilesh’s hand, especially ahead of the November 3 rath yatra called by the UP CM. Last Wednesday, Akhilesh announced his decision to embark on a ‘Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra’, alone.