Akhilesh, Shivpal in survival battle

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Is the unprecedented family crisis in the Samajwadi Party (SP) showcasing a battle for survival between Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle, Shivpal Yadav? That’s what it seems, going by the three-day family drama that reached a climax late on Thursdayevening.

As of now, it appears SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is backing his son Akhilesh and marginalizing his ‘ambitious’ brother Shivpal Yadav, in this battle. When Akhilesh stripped his uncle of key portfolios, it was his way of showing that he was the man in control just before the party faces its big electoral battle next year.

Similarly, when Shivpal resigned from all posts, after being number two in the government, he too showed he’s fighting for survival, because he knew any compromise at this stage – like accepting a rehabilitation package – would be suicidal for his political future. Akhilesh has been restless since the beginning of his tenure. He has wanted to act as an ‘independent’ CM, free from any pressure. When he stripped Shivpal of key portfolios, it was an occasion to send a stern message to anyone in the government howsoever powerful one may be.

When the elections are close, Akhilesh’s recent thrust on development agenda and his emergence as a ‘performing chief minister’ who is not under elders’ pressure has definitely spruced up his image as, but put the family and the party into a deep crisis, say political analysts.

Akhilesh, it appears, wants to project himself as a ruthless CM who can send his uncle packing, remove chief secretary ungracefully and push his development agenda with pro-actively. So far, he has succeeded.

Now, it is to be seen how will Shivpal win the battle for survival when he is packing his articles at his ministerial bungalow to shift to a private house.

Now it remains to be seen whether Shivpal would take the extreme step of quitting the party and forming a new outfit+ or withdraw his resignation after being convinced by the party leadership. The crisis erupted on Tuesday after Akhilesh removed chief secretary Deepak Singhal, known to be close to Shivpal and Mulayam, without consulting the party supremo.

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