The raging feud within UP’s ruling Samajwadi Party remained unresolved 48 hours after it erupted with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s sacking of two ministers, with senior minister Shivpal Yadav, stripped of four key portfolios, rushing to Delhi to meet the party chief and elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday and expressing his inability to work under nephew and CM Akhilesh Yadav.
Mulayam has called the party’s parliamentary board meeting on Friday to end the crisis. Earlier on Wednesday, speaking at a function in Lucknow, Akhilesh, who chose the day to tweet about the start of his poll campaign on October 3, said “outsiders” were interfering in the affairs of the family and the party.
Akhilesh said it was not a family fight: “Yeh ghar ki ladai nahi hai, yeh sarkar ki ladai hai (this is not a family feud, this is a fight for the government).” A day after he was removed as party chief and his uncle Shivpal Yadav was given the charge, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav said on Wednesday, “Ghar ke bahar ke log hastakshep karenge to kaise chalega? Netaji ki baat sab sunte hain, sab maante hain (If outsiders interfere in family matters, how can we tolerate it? Everyone listens to Netaji).”
Newly inducted Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh, on the other hand, denied that he was the “outsider” Akhilesh was referring to. He even refused to accept that he had anything to do with the crisis as was being made out.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, took a jibe at SP at his `khaat sabha’ in Mirzapur, saying that the party’s tyre had punctured and now “Akhilesh had thrown the wheel out”.
The four-hour meeting between Mulayam and Shivpal on Wednesday turned out to be futile as the latter refused to resume his work as a downgraded and demoted minister. In another significant development, Rajya Sabha MP Subhash Chandra, a close friend of Amar Singh and Shivpal, also met Mulayam in Delhi on Wednesday.
In Lucknow, Akhilesh showed no sign of reinstating the two dismissed ministers, Gayatri Prajapati and Raj Kishore Singh, or rehabilitating the powerful bureaucrat Deepak Singhal, removed from the post of chief secretary on Tuesday. Akhilesh also showed no intention of going to Delhi to help re solve the crisis and attended an official programme at his residence.
The high-voltage political drama unfolded on Tuesday after Mulayam removed Akhilesh from the post of the party’s state chief and named Shivpal in his place. In retaliation, Akhilesh stripped Shivpal of four key portfolios, striking a huge blow to his uncle’s public image. This brought the family feud out in the open with observers saying this could seriously damage SP’s prospects in the 2017 assembly polls.
Even before meeting Mulayam, Shivpal, in his native village Saifai, had hinted that he would not serve under Akhilesh. The CM, on the other hand, is learnt to have stopped all communication with his father and uncle. Now, all eyes are on Friday’s parliamentary board meeting for a solution to the spiralling crisis.