Akhilesh sacks Shivpal; Mulayam expels Ramgopal as party appears headed for a split; question mark on CM’s fate
Lucknow: In a series of swift moves, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav were placed face to face after both sides removed other players from the power game being enacted in the party, family and the government.
During the course of the day on Sunday, senior minister and Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Yadav and three other ministers were dismissed by Akhilesh, and later Shivpal, as party’s state president, expelled general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years.
The day began with a letter by Ram Gopal Yadav, then party’s national general secretary and later expelled, in which he threw his weight behind Akhilesh Yadav in no uncertain terms. His later datelined Mumbai and mentioning 6 am as the time of writing, did not name anyone but said that “they” want Akhilesh Yadav to lose under all circumstances, whereas “we” want that a Samajwadi government should be formed in Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Akhilesh. The letter went on to elaborate that “our approach is positive, theirs is negative. With the Chief Minister are people who have shed their blood for the party, faced insults, whereas on the other side are those people who have earned thousands of crores of rupees, indulged in immoral acts and misuse of power. Some people indulge in mediation to fool the public and issue statements.”
The letter ended with “There is no need to be misguided. The Rath Yatra is thorn in the opponents’ neck, we need to make it more sharp. Those opposing Akhilesh will not see the face of the Vidhan Sabha. Don’t be afraid, don’t be upset. Victory is where Akhilesh is.”
This was followed by a meeting of legislators addressed by Akhilesh Yadav in which he levelled serious charges against party general secretary Amar Singh, and asserted that no one close to Amar Singh will be retained in the ministry. He also said that he would start his Rath Yatra on November 3 and added that he would also attend the Samajwadi Party silver jubilee celebration scheduled on November 5. Shortly afterwards, Akhilesh sacked from his ministry Shivpal Yadav and three other ministers close to him namely Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai and Shadab Fatima. Jaya Prada was also dismissed from the position of vice president UP Film Development Council.
Reacting to this, Shivpal in his capacity as state party president expelled Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years. In the letter to Ram Gopal, Shivpal alleged that he (Ram Gopal) was acting on behalf of “communal forces” to weaken the Samajwadi Party. Ram Gopal was also accused of trying to shield himself, his son Akshay and his daughter-in-law from the CBI for which he had thrice met BJP leaders
And at the end of the day, Ram Gopal Yadav wrote another letter, this time in his capacity as a Rajya Sabha MP, in which he said he was pained not at being expelled from the party but at the charges levelled against him. He asserted that he would forever respect Mulayam and hoped that he (Mulayam) would realise his mistake when he came out from the spell of “demonic forces” that had surrounded him.
Several senior leaders met Mulayam at his residence later in the day, and during the meeting Mulayam also had a telephonic conversation with the Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh. It is likely that Mulayam may pave the way for an alliance with not only the RLD but some other parties also. A meeting of all party leaders has been convened at the SP office tomorrow (Monday) morning.
Akhilesh will not quit party : Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has made it clear that he will not leave the party, according to a senior minister. “I will remain in the party and will keep strengthening it,” senior minister Rajendra Chaudhary quoted Akhilesh as having told the meeting of SP legislature party at his residence here. The Chief Minister also said he would participate in all programmes of the party and participate in the silver jubiliee celebrations of SP on November 5, Chaudhary said in a press release. At the same time, he said, he would go ahead with his ‘rath yatra’ that begins on November 3.
I will speak on Monday: Mulayam: Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday refused to comment on the bitter tussle in the party and said he will react publicly only on Monday. Emerging after an ’emergency’ meeting with party leaders, Mulayam said he would speak up only after meeting all legislators, former MLAs and senior party colleagues. Insiders say Mulayam was very hurt over the day’s developments and had not taken kindly to the sacking of his brother Shivpal Yadav and three other ministers by Akhilesh.