Shivpal arrives in Delhi, says not ‘angry with Akhilesh’; all eyes on Mulayam

Senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav on Wednesday said that he is not angry with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and will abide by any decision taken by his brother and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Shivpal Yadav, a top minister and a key figure in the ruling Samajwadi Party, made these remarks shortly after arriving at the IGI airport to meet his brother Mulayam.

Earlier, Akhilesh Yadav too denied reports of any rift within his family and said that all members of the Yadav clan stand united and follow instructions of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Where have you found a family fight? This is a fight in government, not a family fight, Akhilesh Yadav asked reporters.

Further attempting to downplay the reports of his ongoing cold war with his uncle, the UP CM said, ”I have only taken some decisions, but most are taken by SP chief Mulayam Singh, so don’t misinterpret the decisions taken by the state government.”

However, Akhilesh refused to give a direct answer on being asked about rift with his uncle.

When quizzed further, Akhilesh said that he is not aware on any rift in his family.

The reactions from UP CM came shortly after it was reported that a miffed Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has summoned him and his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav for a patch-up meeting in the national capital today as ongoing rift within his family widened.

Akhilesh Yadav had too cancelled his official engagements in Lucknow for the day amid an all-out war with his uncle Shivpal Yadav, which has brought the 44-year-old Chief Minister in direct confrontation with his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

All eyes are now on Mulayam Singh, who is in Delhi. Shivpal Yadav, made the Samajwadi Party’s new chief in UP in place of Akhilesh on Tuesday, had this morning confirmed he will meet his brother today.

Ahead of leaving for Delhi, Shivpal Yadav said today that he will take any decision only after speaking to the party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, a day after he was stripped off three key portfolios.

“I will talk to Netaji (Mulayam) before taking a decision,” he said while talking to reporters today.

However, Shivpal sought to downplay the signs of growing fissures in the Samajwadi Party.

Everything is okay within the party, Shivpal told reporters. “I will go to Delhi and talk to him,” he said after being asked about the conversation he had already had with the SP chief.

“It’s his right (to take the) decision as the Chief Minister,” Shivpal said this morning.

Shivpal also said that he will abide by whatever decision Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav makes about him, because the state’s people “are with the leader Mulayam.”

When asked pointedly whether he would resign as a state minister – he’s now only in charge of wasteland development – Shivpal said he will make a decision on that only after he talks to Mulayam.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav yesterday defied his father, Mulayam, by firing Shivpal, who’s Mulayam’s favourite brother. Mulayam had sought to install Shivpal as UP party chief, in son Akhilesh’s place.

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 at 10 am today, and there’s speculation that he might ask for dissolving the government and calling state polls earlier than scheduled.

Akhilesh’s move yesterday came soon after he removed Deepak Singhal, a Shivpal favourite, from the post of chief secretary. A day earlier, he sacked two ministers, Gayatri Prajapati and Rajkishore Singh, also Shivpal loyalists, and disregarded the counsel of his father and uncle.

Mulayam hit back, appointing Shivpal, as UP party chief, in effect sacking Akhilesh from the post. This position would see him play a key role in the selection of nominees for next year’s assembly polls.

The jousting has brought out in the open, tensions that have been simmering in the party for a while now. In June, Akhilesh sabotaged Shivpal’s move to ally with controversial politicians associated with a front called the Qaumi Ekta Dal. Akhilesh has been increasingly asserting himself as chief minister, even as Shivpal has refused to forego his claim on Mulayam’s legacy.


Embraer aircraft deal: Defence Ministry writes to CBI, seeks preliminary inquiry

New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and sought preliminary inquiry in the 2008 Embraer aircraft deal.

Sources said this letter has been written just days after Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief S. Christopher on Monday met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar over the Embraer aircraft deal row and briefed him about the situation.

The DRDO has written to Brazilian company Embraer, seeking more details on a report in the Brazilian media that it had employed an agent to sell three EMB 145 aircraft to the DRDO in 2008.

In the letter sent on Saturday, the DRDO has given Embraer a period of 15 days to explain with details the news report, which was based on investigations by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Brazil.

The Defence Minister had earlier this week asserted that if the issues display a criminal nature then it will be handed over to the CBI.

Speaking to the media, Parrikar stated that he has asked the DRDO to submit a complete report on the matter on Monday, and it will be only after that that he can make a concrete statement.

A joint U.S.-Brazil investigation into Embraer has uncovered a bribery case leading to a deal signed between the company and DRDO in 2008 for three aircraft equipped with indigenous radars for AEW&C (airborne early warning and control systems).

The company has been under the scanner of the United States Justice Department since 2010 after a contract with the Dominican Republic raised suspicions.

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