Amid a bitter power struggle in the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday met Governor Ram Naik and briefed him on the prevailing political situation in the state.
Triggering speculation in political circles, Mr. Akhilesh paid a sudden visit to the Raj Bhawan when he was in the middle of a meeting with party legislators and seniors to finalise details of his proposed ‘Rath Yatra’ from November 3.
The sudden visit caught everyone by surprise, though some said an appointment had been sought in advance.
Raj Bhawan sources said Mr. Akhilesh briefed the Governor on the prevailing political situation in the State.
Party sources said the visit might have been in connection with the four vacancies in the ministry after Mr. Akhilesh sacked his uncle Shivpal Yadav, Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai and Sayeda Shadaab Fatima in a sudden move on Sunday, plunging the party into a deeper chaos.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Shivpal, who is also the SP State-unit chief, expelled Tejnarain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey and wrote to the Chief Minister requesting that he be sacked from the Ministry. Mr. Pandey is a junior Minister in the Akhilesh government.
The feud in the Samajwadi Party showed no signs of ending though Mr. Shivpal maintained even on Wednesday that there was no dispute in the Samajwadi Party and the Mulayam Singh Yadav family.
At the one-on-one meeting which lasted about 15 minutes, neither side had their secretaries or officials to assist them.
The Raj Bhawan officially described the meeting as a “courtesy call”.
The Raj Bhawan sources, however, said the Governor had asked the Chief Minister to apprise him about the latest political situation in the State where Assembly election is scheduled for early next year.
Reports were doing the rounds that the Governor had sought a list of MLAs to ensure that Mr. Akhilesh still enjoyed majority in the Assembly.
The sources rubbished the reports saying neither the Governor had sought any such list nor any such document was handed over to him by Mr. Akhilesh.