LUCKNOW: There were several flashing lights today warning that the political crisis in the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh remains volatile.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, estranged from father and party boss Mulayam Singh, met today with the state’s governor Ram Naik.
Simultaneously, Shivpal Yadav, the cause of the rift between father and son, moved out of the home allotted to him as a minister – he was sacked from the cabinet by Akhilesh on Sunday, which precipitated this week’s unprecedented feuding in the family.
Shivpal Yadav is Mulayam Singh’s younger brother and close confidante, along with Amar Singh, who was expelled from the party in 2010 but is back now as part of Mulayam Singh’s innermost clique ahead of the crucial state election.
Akhilesh says that Shivpal and Amar Singh have combined to discredit him among Muslims, whose strong support is crucial for the Samajwadi Party, referring to him as ruthless Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
He says his father must marginalize them. Mulayam Singh has responded by repeatedly announcing his great reliance on the duo.
That is just one of several ways in which the Samjawadi Party president has backed his brother over his son in recent months. He said yesterday that it’s not a given that Akhilesh will be Chief Minister again if the party wins the election, saying that a decision would be taken collectively by the party’s legislators.
However, Mulayam Singh said that Akhilesh will complete his current term as Chief Minister, a sort of peace offering.
But a new and big dart was hurled this morning with a minister close to Akhilesh Yadav named Tej Narayan Pandey aka Pawan Pandey being expelled by Shivpal on charges of “indiscipline and harassment”.
On Sunday, along with Shivpal, three other ministers were removed by Akhilesh to signal he calls the shots in the government.
Hours later, Team Mulayam responded by expelling Ram Gopal Yadav, a cousin of Mulayam’s who has championed Akhilesh as the “true leader” of the Samajwadi Party “without whom the election cannot be won”.