23 October, Lucknow
With the ruling Samajwadi Party inching towards a split and no reconciliation to end the feud between son Akhilesh and father Mulayam Singh Yadav in sight, Sunday was the day of happenings in the midst of ‘cracker bursting’ sounds around.
In a major decision amid the ongoing family feud, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav dealt a severe blow to his uncle Shivpal Yadav, sacking him from the State cabinet. Three other pro-Shivpal Yadav ministers, Narad Rai, Om Prakash Singh, and minister of state (independent-charge) Shadab Fatima-were also sacked.
The decision has intensified the power struggle in the first family of the ruling party that threatens to jeopardise the party’s chances in next year’s assembly polls. Later in retaliation, Mulayam too expelled party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, who is said to be the brain behind Akhilesh.
However, party president Mulayam Singh Yadav has summoned senior leaders at his residence this evening to discuss the political fallout.
However, the important action of the day was the expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years. The expulsion of Mr Gopal, the think tank of the party and the leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha, gives enough hint that the party is on the verge of a split.
The announcement was made by UP SP president Shivpal Singh Yadav, who earlier on the day was sacked from the UP ministry by Akhilesh Yadav. Ram Gopal is the cousin of Mulayam Singh Yadav and was close to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Shivpal Singh Yadav alleged that Gopal was hobnobbing with the BJP since long after his son Akshay and daughter-in-law were found involved in the Yadav Singh scam and CBI was investigating their case.
The act of the SP leader was seen as a reply to the letter bomb of Ram Gopal Yadav, in which he had attacked the party leaders and even alleged that they were involved in corruption and that they lacked moral discipline.
The SP state president Shivpal Singh Yadav also alleged that Ram Gopal Yadav was acting like a ‘gang’ and was hatching a conspiracy against the party to weaken Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yadav said Ram Gopal met BJP leaders at least thrice to safeguard his son and daughter-in-law from going to jail and thus was bargaining with them. “Ram Gopal also misused the name of Mulayam Singh Yadav,” he added.
He said it was unfortunate that Akhilesh Yadav fell in the dragnet of Ram Gopal and was not understanding the conspiracy. “Ram Gopal’s letter had directly questioned the CM and his role but the CM refuses to understand,” he said.
In the press conference, all the four sacked UP ministers– Shivpal Yadav, Narad Rai, Om Prakash Singh and Sadab Fatima were present. “I had worked honestly in the UP ministry and even made several record in the work done. But Ram Gopal is making all false allegations against him and was damaging the image of Akhilesh,” he claimed.
The SP state president further said that Ram Gopal had insulted senior party leaders like Mohan Singh and Braj Bhushan Singh and even refused to meet the leaders like Janeshwar Mishra in jail.