The fissures within the Samajwadi Party has deepened further and a truce remains a distant dream. Political observers are accusing Ramgopal Yadav and Amar Singh of creating rift within the Yadav clan but party insiders and those close to the family in Etawah and Lucknow are blaming a third individual for the recent developments. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second wife Sadhna Yadav, who is believed to be wanting a political future for her son Prateek, has become a power centre in the family besides Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Yadav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party supremo himself, according to a report.
Sadhna’s name came to the fore when a young MLC considered close to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has asked Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav to step down and let his son take his place. Udayveer Singh, a first time MLC, wrote a “private letter” to Mulayam Singh which had found its way into the media. Udayveer Singh said that he was merely airing his personal feelings but which he insisted echoed the views of most party colleagues. Udayveer Singh has also accused Mulayam Singh’s second wife Sadhna of harbouring ill feeling towards her stepson Akhilesh. He added that Shivpal Singh Yadav, the state party chief and a brother of Mulayam Singh, was jealous of the Chief Minister’s popularity. Accusing Sadhna and Shivpal Yadav of collusion, Udayveer Singh alleged that the Chief Minister was being subject to black magic with a view to harm him.
Party insiders say Sadhna is also concerned about the immediate political future of her daughter-in-law Aparna, the party candidate from the Lucknow Cantonment constituency. The possibility that sitting MLA and former Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi — who has just joined the BJP — will be a candidate for the same seat has left the family in two minds over Aparna’s candidature. Since, as per close family friends, Sadhna’s son Prateek would not join active politics, she wants to establish Aparna. But with Akhilesh having a say in both Mulayam’s family and in the party, she remains worried about the prospects of her son and daughter-in-law, the party insiders said, according to an Indian Express report.
While the family feud has become public only now, problems started soon after Mulayam’s first wife and Akhilesh’s mother Malti Devi passed away in May 2003. Sadhna Gupta got the status of Mulayam’s wife the same year and, after a family function, moved into his Lucknow residence. She also got a new bungalow constructed at Saifai.
It will be interesting to see the conclusion of this modern day Ramayana!