Lucknow, Will Samajwadi Party split in two? While there are telltale signs that the rift in the party is going to get more difficult to manage, a split can still be divided with some shrewd moves by Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Nonetheless today’s moves suggest that there is huge wall of mistrust between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. While the differences were already in the open, it crossed all the limits this morning when Akhilesh sacked uncle Shivpal Yadav, a confidant of party chief Mulayama Singh Yadav.
Shivpal Yadav was not alone to have been sacked, three other close confidantes of the party’s state unit chief were also removed from the council of ministers. In a tit for tat action, Shivpal Yadav at Mulayam singh Yadav’s behest sacked chief minister’s supporter and MP Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years.
There is no denying that the decision by the estranged Chief Minister to oust the ministers followed the earlier dismissal of Akhilesh supporters from the party on Saturday by Shivpal Yadav, the new state in charge of the Samajwadi Party and brother of Mulayam Singh. On Sunday evening, Mulayam Singh — facing the worst crisis of his political career — called an emergency meeting of senior party leaders to douse the fires in the party he founded some 25 years ago. But the meeting appeared to have made no breakthrough in building peace.
In the meantime it seems that Amar Singh also seems to be a bone of contention. Legislators who attended a morning meeting with the Chief Minister said Akhilesh Yadav made it clear that anyone close to Amar Singh cannot find a place in his government. As the meeting ended, the legislators shouted slogans hailing Akhilesh Yadav and denouncing Amar Singh as a “dalal” (broker). Hours later, the Samajwadi Party expelled national General Secretary and spokesman Ram Gopal, an unabashed Akhilesh supporter and Mulayam’s cousin, for six years from all party posts.
Announcing the decision by Mulayam Singh, Shivpal Yadav said Ram Gopal had connived with “communal forces” to destabilize and weaken the party — which has a brute majority in the 403-member assembly. “He met a senior BJP leader thrice and is trying to save his son Akshay and daughter-in-law from the CBI,” Shivpal Yadav said, linking the two family members with a tainted chief engineer of Noida Authority. Ram Gopal denied the charge and said he continued to stand by Akhilesh Yadav. Ram Gopal, now in Mumbai, triggered a controversy earlier on Sunday when he wrote a letter to party leaders saying only Akhilesh Yadav can lead the party to victory in the assembly poll.
Meanwhile Akhilesh Yadav, 43, describing himself as the political successor to his father Mulayam Singh, dismissed speculations that he wanted to split the Samajwadi Party which, he said, belonged to “Netaji” – as Mulayam Singh is widely known. The Chief Minister also said he would attend the party’s Silver Jubilee function on November 5. An insider said all efforts to bring peace in the Samajwadi Party were effectively over now and that the party may he headed for a vertical split between the two generations. State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya demanded that the Akhilesh Yadav government had lost the majority to rule Uttar Pradesh. He asked the Chief Minister to resign or prove his majority on the floor of the assembly.