Samajwadi Party family feud has another twist. In a sudden move, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked four ministers on Sunday afternoon including his uncle Shivpal Yadav, who is a close aide of party supremo Mulayam Singh.
The move has deepened the crisis in the Uttar Pradesh government as in a tit for tat move, Mulayam Singh suspended senior party leader and Akhilesh supporter Ramgopal Yadav for a period of six years for anti-party activities.
On Sunday morning CM Akhilesh convened a meeting of party legislators and sent a recommendation to Governor Ram Naik that ministers Shivpal Yadav, Narad Rai, Om Prakash Singh and Sayeda Shadab Fatima be sacked from his ministry.
All the four ministers are said to be close to Rajya Sabha Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh.
Following the removal, the Mulayam-camp is again getting into a huddle to decide the next course of action.
The big sackings in the party came just a day ahead of the mega meeting of party MPs, MLAs, MLCs and ministers. This meeting convened by Mulayam Singh was expected to take some tough decisions for the party.
Shivpal Yadav has made it clear that his camp is siding with Mulayam Singh in the apparent rift between father and son.
“Will fight UP Assembly polls in 2017 under the leadership of netaji (Mulayam Singh)”, said Shivpal after being shown the door.
On the other hand, Ramgopal Yadav, the other uncle of Akhilesh wrote a letter to Mulayam, saying those opposing Akhilesh will not see the face of the Assembly.
“Where there is Akhilesh, there is victory,” said Ramgopal, a cousin of Mulayam, describing Akhilesh as the “true and most popular leader” of the party.
The crisis in the party comes just months before the state goes to polls early next year. And many see this ongoing power tussle in the party culminating into a split of the party itself.
The Samajwadi Party was preparing for its silver jubilee celebration on November 5, an event which Akhilesh could give a miss as he was scheduled to embark on a ‘rath yatra’ on November 3.
However, this is not the first time that Akhilesh had sacked his 61-year-old uncle Shivpal Yadav. Earlier too Akhilesh had exercised his authority much to the chagrin of his father, who leads the Samajawadi Party and has been promoting Shivpal over his son.
On Saturday, Mulayam expelled MLC Udayveer Singh, one of the closest aides of Akhilesh, from the party for “undignified” conduct days after he wrote to the SP patriarch suggesting to him to elevate the UP CM as the party’s national president.
In a four-page letter to the party supremo earlier this week, Udayveer had said, “SP state president Shivpal Yadav and other members of his family have misled you (Mulayam) and hatched a conspiracy against CM Akhilesh, who should be made party national president and given all the powers.”
Meanwhile, BJP is milking the opportunity to attack the UP government. BJP’s UP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said Chief Minister Akhilesh should resign or prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly.
“A govt reduced to minority should not take any policy decision,” said Maurya.
(With inputs from PTI)