In a dramatic development in the feud in the Yadav clan, Shivpal Yadav resigned from all cabinet and party posts late on Thursday evening. Shivpal was recently made chief of Samajwadi Party’s Uttar Pradesh unit, which was the prime cause of rift with UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.
Shivpal’s decision came after a meeting with his nephew and Akhilesh Yadav and party supremo Mulayam Singh. The party chief had rushed to Lucknow to broker the much needed peace between the warring uncle and nephew. But Mulayam failed to douse the fire and Shivpal, a minister in Akhilesh’s cabinet resigned.
However, on Friday morning Shivpal told his agitated supporters that the Samajwadi Party needs to strengthen itself ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls. He also said he will stand by Mulayam’s decision in every way.
“We all have to strengthen Samajwadi Party. We are with Netaji (Mulayam). His message is an order for us. We will not let the party be weakened. In every situation, we are with Netaji,” Shivpal told the supporters gathered outside his house in Lucknow.
Sources revealed that Shivpal’s wife Sarla also resigned from the post of District Cooperative Bank Chairperson, Etawah, and their son Aditya quit as Chairman of Pradeshik Cooperative Federation.
Sources also revealed that both Mulayam and Akhilesh refused to accept Shivpal’s resignation.
Meanwhile, Mulayam played down the rift within the party. He commented on the issue for the first time on Friday afternoon.
“There can be no division in the party, till I am there…We have a big family and differences may occur… There is no fight between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh,” said the party chief.
At a separate event at India Today’s ‘Chunaav Manch’ conclave, Akhilesh Yadav admitted that he felt ‘bad’ when he was removed as the UP state chief for the party.
“I felt bad and you saw its effect. I’m coming here after a discussion with Netaji (Mulayam). Samajwadi Party is a family and there are no differences in the party,” said the young CM.
But he also added,”Netaji will find a solution (to the current crisis) and everyone will accept it”.
The family feud spilled into the open earlier this week on Tuesday when Akhilesh stripped his uncle Shivpal Yadav of key ministerial portfolios just hours after he was removed as the party’s state unit chief by his father Mulayam Singh. Not just that, Mulayam had instated Shivpal in Akhilesh’s place as the head of the party in the state.
Mulayam’s cousin and Samajwadi Party’s national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav was seen backing the young Chief Minister Akhilesh on Thursday, when he said that the party leadership had made a mistake by removing Akhilesh as the party president in UP.
“Differences do take place on some minor point and they can be resolved…. The leadership, though not deliberately, had made a mistake when CM was removed from the post of (state) president (of SP),” Ram Gopal Yadav had said.
Ram Gopal had also blamed “outsiders” for the crisis, an apparent reference to Amar Singh who recently returned to the party after a number of years.
It is no secret that Shivpal has harboured chief ministerial ambitions since 2012 when he was overlooked by Mulayam, who instated his son Akhilesh as the chief minister.
Of late, Akhilesh has been focusing on sprucing up the image of his government. He recently overturned his father’s decision of a merger with Quami Ekta Dal (QED). Shivpal was said to have overseen the merger of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s QED with Samajwadi Party. But Akhilesh was adamant that the merger be called off because he wanted to maintain his clean image.
Earlier too, Akhilesh had opposed the inclusion of DP Yadav in the party ahead of the 2012 Assembly polls.
(With inputs from PTI)