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SP on the verge of split amid clash of its titans

The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) on Sunday was on the edge of a split, after general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav was expelled from the party for six years.

The expulsion came just hours after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav once again sacked his uncle Shivpal Yadav and three other senior ministers, considered close to Amar Singh, from his cabinet.

Later in the evening, party supremo Mulayam Singh held a meeting with top SP leaders but refused to divulge details, saying he would speak on Monday after a meeting of party legislators and office-bearers.

The latest tit-for-tat moves in the long-running feud in the party’s first family is likely to not only impact its 2017 campaign but also change the electoral arithmetic in Uttar Pradesh.

Events unfolded swiftly through the day, after Mr Akhilesh Yadav met State MLAs and MLCs at his official residence here though Mr Shivpal Yadav and MLAs loyal to him were not invited. In a show of strength, over 180 legislators attended the meeting and signed a resolution expressing “full faith” in the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Akhilesh Yadav sacked Mr Shivpal Yadav and senior ministers Narad Rai and Om Prakash Singh, and MoS Shadab Fatima. Governor Ram Naik promptly approved of the dismissals.

Mulayam still leader

“I will not break the party at any cost,” the Chief Minister said, reaffirming that his leader was his father. He also said he would get the Lucknow-Agra Expresswayinaugurated by his father on November 21, on the eve of Mr. Mulayam Singh’s 77th birthday. The CM also said he would attend the party's silver jubilee celebrations on November 5 and Monday’s party meeting.

Soon after his ouster from the Cabinet, Mr Shivpal Yadav announced the explusion of Mr. Ram Gopal Yadav, allegedly on the instructions of Mr Mulayam Singh. Mr. Ram Gopal Yadav is Mr Mulayam Singh’s cousin and considered a key member of the party “think tank.” He has strongly supported Mr Akhilesh Yadav in the feud and early on Sunday morning, had written a letter to party workers endorsing Akhilesh as the future leader of the SP.

Cousins trade charges

In the latest series of retaliatory actions in the Samajwadi Party, party supremo Mulayam Singh’s brother and State president Shivpal Yadav expelled his cousin and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav for six years.

Mr. Shivpal Yadav said Mr. Ram Gopal Yadav was working in collusion with the BJP to weaken the SP and tarnish the Akhilesh Yadav government’s image. Mr. Ram Gopal Yadav had thrice met top leaders of the saffron party, Mr. Shivpal said.

Talking to a TV channel after his expulsion, Mr. Ram Gopal said he was saddened by the “false allegations”. On his connections with the BJP, he said it was normal for politicians to meet leaders from other parties.

BJP for floor test

The BJP on Sunday said there was a “constitutional crisis” in Uttar Pradesh and demanded that the Akhilesh Yadav government prove its majority in the House.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 5:35:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/SP-on-the-verge-of-split-amid-clash-of-its-titans/article16080377.ece

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