New Delhi, December 30
Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled on Friday Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and general secretary Ramgopal Yadav from the party for six years over alleged indiscipline.
Mulayam’s shock move came a day after Akhilesh, his son, finalised a list of 235 candidates for the upcoming assembly polls in defiance of the party’s official list that snubbed some leaders considered close to the CM.
“Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav doesn’t understand. Ramgopal is trying to weaken him,” Mulayam said at a press conference in Lucknow at a time the party is besieged by a bitter family feud. “To save the party, we have expelled both Ramgopal and Akhilesh Yadav for six years…,” he said, stressing the party was more important than individuals. When asked what if Akhilesh apologises, Mulayam answered: “Akhilesh kya mafi mangega…Woh to ladta hain. Pita manta ho toh dekha jayega (What will Akhilesh apologise for? He keeps fighting. I’ll think if he considers me his father).”
Just hours before the shock announcement, the SP sent showcause notices to Akhilesh and Ramgopal, triggering speculations of a split in the wake of the CM’s parallel list, which came barely a day after Mulayam made public the SP’s official nominees and ruled out projecting his son as the candidate for the state’s top job.
The state’s youngest chief minister had been engaged in an intense power struggle with the ruling family’s elders, especially uncle Shivpal, who enjoys the backing of his brother Mulayam. Mulayam’s cousin, Ramgopal, who is a vocal supporter of Akhilesh, earlier asserted that there was no question of going back on the list prepared by the CM.
In an apparent attack on Shivpal, he said many in the party do not want to see Akhilesh as the CM again. “But, the fact remains that people of the state want him back as CM,” he claimed.
He said Mulayam had convened a meeting on January 1 to take a final call on ticket distribution, “but due to pressure (from Shivpal), he announced the list on December 28”.
With the SP staring at a possible split, Mulayam also called a meeting on Saturday of all those allotted tickets by him, even as the CM’s camp remained adamant on contesting against the official candidates of the party.
New Delhi, December 30