Is Amar Singh stoking feud between Shivpal, Akhilesh?

In Uttar Pradesh it isn’t all about loving your family – not in the state’s politics at least – as the state’s chief minister Akhilesh Yadav well knows by now.
Today, he scrambled to deny a rift in his family+ , and said his dispute with his uncle – from whom he took away key portfolios+ yesterday – is a political one. He also hinted that someone from outside the family – speculation is that he’s referring to Amar Singh who’s back in the party fold – may be creating problems.
“Where have you found a family fight? This is a fight in government, not a family fight+ ,” the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Akhilesh told the media, a day after he took away the portfolios from his uncle Shivpal Yadav.
Akhilesh further said, “If people from outside the family keep interfering how will things (government) work”. Speculation is that he was hinting at the involvement of SP’s Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and a bureaucrat named Deepak Singhal.
Roiling the family dynamic some more is Akhilesh’s father, Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam, who, it seems, supports his brother Shivpal over his son and met with Amar Singh not long ago. Mulayam on Tuesday named Shivpal – his favourite brother – head of the party’s unit+ in Uttar Pradesh, hours after which Akhilesh stripped Shivpal of most of his portfolios. On Monday, Akhilesh had done the same with two close aides of Shivpal’s.
Interestingly, Akhilesh and Shivpal disagreed on whom to appoint as the state’s chief secretary after incumbent Alok Ranjan’s term ended on June 30. Deepak Singhal, who was earlier principal secretary at a department held by Shivpal, was named to the post, but Akhilesh shunted him out in a mere two months. Mulayam is said to have met Singhal too, after he was shunted out.
Without specifying which of those decisions were his alone, Akhilesh said today that “some decisions were taken with consultation with netaji (Mulayam Singh) and some I took on my own.”
In the meanwhile, Shivpal is reportedly on his way to Delhi to meet with Mulayam who’s also in the Capital. Shivpal told the media this morning that he will take a call on resigning+ based on what Mulayam tells him to do. He underscored this morning that the real leader of the SP is Mulayam, not Akhilesh.
The family feud within the Samajwadi Party has escalated even as all parties are preparing for Assembly polls in UP, scheduled for early next year. Akhilesh is expected to meet the state’s governor today, and there’s speculation that he might ask for dissolving the government and calling state polls earlier than scheduled.

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