Lucknow: This is something that was being predicted for long. After many efforts of patch up between UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle and president of UP unit of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the split in the so called socialist party is a mere formality.
Merely a day after Akhilesh Singh Yadav released a separate list of his supporters for the next assembly election set to be held early 2017, Mulayam Singh Yadav has expelled his son Akhilesh from the ruling party for a period of six years.
The chief minister was not alone in being expelled from the party of his father. Also expelled along with the chief minister was his close associate and mentor Ram Gopal Yadav who is also the party General Secretary.
There is no denying that Akhilesh has been planning his next move with the support and advice of Ram Gopal. The latest crisis has been ignited with Akhilesh faction releasing a separate list of candidates, sparking crisis in the Yadav family and the party as its five year rule in the state draws to a close.
In the meantime asserting his authority, Mulayam Singh said only he, as the party chief, had the right to call a national council meet and nobody else could do so. “We are expelling both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from the party for six years. Both of them showed indiscipline…this is to send a strong message that indiscipline won’t be tolerated,” Mulayam Singh told reporters at a hurriedly convened presser with brother Shivpal Yadav sitting by his side.
He went on to add that the his son Akhilesh Yadav is no longer the Chief Minister and the party would decide who would succeed his 43-year-old son. “I made Akhilesh the chief minister. Now he does not even consult me,” said the senior Yadav, adding he was sacking the son to “save the party”.
Nonetheless the chief minister remained defiant and unrelenting. Akhilesh Yadav showed no signs of quitting, throwing up some possible political scenarios in the poll-bound state. These include the imposition of President’s Rule till assembly elections are held; Akhilesh Yadav asked to prove majority in the assembly if he continues to stay defiant. If he loses, the Mulayam faction may be asked to elect a new Chief Minister. Minutes after the expulsion, hundreds of Akhilesh supporters, waving banners and posters with pictures of the chief minister, gathered outside his 5, Kalidas Marg residence here to show their support to him. They accused the party chief of doing “injustice”.
On the other hand Ram Gopal Yadav refused to accept the expulsion and defended his decision to call an emergency convention of the party. “The action taken against me is unconstitutional. He (Mulayam Singh) acted even before we could respond to the show cause notice (issued earlier),” he told the media. He said they would go ahead with the party convention on Sunday to let the facts come clear. The Yadav patriarch came down heavily on Ram Gopal Yadav and accused him of damaging Akhilesh’s future prospects apart from weakening the party through his activities.
Mulayam castigated Ram Gopal Yadav accusing him of inciting his son against the father. “Ram Gopal has weakened the party. He has no right to call party’s national convention. He is also damaging Akhilesh’s political future, and Akhilesh is not understanding this,” Mulayam Singh said. Asked if he would reconsider his decision vis-a-vis Akhilesh if his son apologised to him, Mulayam Singh said he would “consider if that happens”. “Why would Akhilesh apologise?…We’ll see if he does,” Mulayam said.