Ahead of the Assembly polls, ruling Samajwadi Party appears to be headed for a split, with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his party supremo and father Mulayam Singh engaging in a face-off by sacking each other’s loyalists Shivpal Yadav and Ramgopal Yadav. On a day of fast-paced developments, Akhilesh first sacked Shivpal, his uncle and party’s state unit chief, along with three other “pro-Amar Singh” ministers from his Cabinet. Mulayam, in a tit-for-tat action, expelled Ramgopal, pro-CM cousin and SP’s national general secretary, from the party for six years.
Mulayam, who remained silent during the day, told reporters on Sunday evening that “Whatever I have to say, I will say tomorrow.” He made the remarks after a meeting with Shivpal, Om Prakash Singh, senior minister and spokesperson Ambika Chaudhary, and MLC Ashu Malik, and some others. Moreover, in a bid to counter his son, Mulayam Singh also has plans to strategise a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ on the lines of Bihar before the UP Polls.There seems to be three camps in the ongoing feud within the party. On one camp there are Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav and 26 legisslatures, while Shivpal Singh, Amar Singh and Mukhtar Ansari in the other. Mulayam Singh Yadav, along with Beni Prasad Verma, Azam Khan and revati Raman are in third one.
9:00 pm: “Did Rahul Gandhi say that Akhilesh is a good chief minister?” Congress asked on Monday as it came down hard on the Samajwadi Party rule in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh saying the party was “imploding from within”.
8:50 pm: Samjwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal meets Ram Gopal Yadav in Delhi.
8:48 pm: Shivpal Singh Yadav leaves UP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s residence after failing to meet the CM.
8:25 pm: Silence is a strategic answer to many questions and allegations raised against me. I give my best wishes and blessings to Akhilesh Yadav; he is the son of my supreme leader: Amar Singh
8:23 pm: “We want Samajwadi Party led by Netaji (Mulayam Singh) and Akhilesh, minus Amar Singh. It is the same Amar Singh who convinced Netaji to remove his own son Akhilesh from the post of state chief of SP in UP,” Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra unit chief Abu Azmi said.
8:20 pm: “If Mulayam Singh ji wants to save the party then he should take everyone into confidence. But I think the rift in the party has increased up to such an extent that any of his actions will hardly make a difference,” said Congress leader Meem Afzal.
8:13 pm: Taking potshots at Mulayam Singh Yadav over the unabetting infighting in the Samajwadi party, BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi today said the SP chief was “helpless” and his status has been reduced to being the leader of just one family.
8:12 pm: “Samajwadi Party half, BSP ‘saaf’ (finished)” is how BJP reacted to the raging feud in the ruling Yadav family in Uttar Pradesh, claiming it will form the next government in the state riding on its development agenda.
6:15 pm: No Opposition party has levelled any allegations against UP CM but sadly party men are doing it, says Ram Gopal Yadav.
4:18 pm: MLC Ashu Malik meets UP CM Akhilesh Yadav at his residence.
3:40 pm: Mulayam Singh Yadav calls for a meeting with Akhilesh and Shivpal Singh Yadav at his residence at 5:30 pm.
3:24 pm: Both of you are needed in party, you have to work together: Mulayam told Akhilesh and Shivpal during the meeting at his residence
3:15 pm: Around 150 MLAs assemble outside Akhilesh Yadav’s residence
3:10 pm: Am not in Samajwadi Party anymore, so can’t comment anything, says Ram Gopal Yadav outside Mumbai airport.
2:50 pm: Meeting between Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav concludes.
01.24 pm: The Congress Party on Monday said that the Mulayam Singh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP) is staring at an irreparable split due to the ongoing family feud in the Yadav family.
01.17 pm: Akhilesh Yadav reaches Mulayam Singh’s residence; both had a heated argument on the stage at SP office earlier in the day. Shivpal Singh yadav has also reached their residence. Meanwhile, Mulayam Singh Yadav maintains that his “son will not be removed.”
12.25 pm: Heated argument between Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav breaks out during latter’s speech. Mulayam Singh says, “Aapka mukhyamantri jhooth bolta hai.”
11.58 am: I tell Akhilesh things but he focuses on other things; abusing people does not help, says Mulayam Singh
11.57 am: You cannot separate me from Shivpal Yadav, asserts Mulayam Singh Yadav.
11.53 am: Amar Singh saved me from going to jail. Had he not been there, I would have been subjected to severe punishment, says Mulayam.
11.51 am: I cannot forget what Shivpal has done for the party and Amar Singh is like a brother to me. I will not hear anything against them. I can’t leave either of them. All of Amar Singh’s sins are forgiven, says Mulayam Singh.
11.42 am: Look at PM Modi, he became PM with dedication and struggle. He comes from a poor family, says he can’t leave his mother, says SP convenor.
11.40 am: I could have been the PM had I wanted. But what is the point of it? There are many ex-PMs roaming around, says Mulayam.
11.39 am: I am still strong enough. Those sitting here can do anything on my instruction, don;t think that the youth doesn’t support me, says Mulayam Singh.
11.36 am: Drunkards, goons have been added to the party. You get some power and it goes to your head. Shivpal Yadav is leader of the masses, says SP supremo.
11.33 am: Some ministers are just busy being sycophants. And people who can’t think big can’t be a minister. There are some raising slogans for Akhilesh. Do these people know how we have struggled to form the party? asks Mulayam
11.32 am: Instead of removing our weaknesses, we resorted to fighting among ourselves. Those who can survive criticism can only survive. A leader needs to think big, says Mulayam Singh.
11.28 am: We have worked hard to form this party. We have braved lathis and jail to bring the party to this level, says SP supemo.
11.25 am: I am aware about the current situation in the Party and I am deeply saddened by such affairs, says Mulayam Singh Yadav.
11.17 am: The leadership in UP should be handled by Mulayam Singh Yadav and I should be given some autonomy to run this party, says Shivpal.
11.13 am: People who work to weaken SP, who work against us…they should know we will form Govt again with Netaji’s sweat and blood, asserts Shivpal Yadav.
11.12 am: Ramgopal ki dalali nahi chalegi, says Shivpal.
11.11 am: Only honest workers will be allowed to stay in SP. Mukhtar Ansari did not join SP, still his name is raked up. I will not allow dalali in this Party: Shivpal Singh Yadav
11.09 am: I can swear by my son that Akhilesh spoke of forming a new party. Main ganga jal peekar kasam khaane ko tyaar hun, says Shivpal Yadav. READ | Shivpal Yadav swears on Gangajal, says Akhilesh Yadav wants to form new party
11.06 am: Akhilesh did talk about forming a new political front and I can vow by this, says Shivpal Yadav.
11.04 am: Even I have contributed towards the growth of this party. I covered the whole state on cycles and I believe I have worked no less than the Chief Minister. I welcomes Akhilesh’s elevation to state president and what did I get in return? My ministry was snatched away from me, says Shivpal Yadav.
10.58 am: Indiscipline will not be tolerated in this party. This party has reached such heights only because of Netaji, says Shivpal.
10.57 am: I have given my full support to Mulayam Singh Yadav to form the party. It was crucial for us to remove those who were creating a ruckus in the Party, says Shivpal Yadav.
10.50 am: Akhilesh Yadav breaks down at the meet says the Party belongs to Mulyam Singh and he has done things as per the latter’s advice.
10.48 am: Why bring Amar Singh in the Party? retorts Akhilesh Yadav. I was hurt when Amar Singh said that by November Akhilesh will not be CM in UP. Ramgopal ji didnt say that, added UP Chief Minister.
10.47 am: It was on the advice of Netaji that Gayatri Prasad Prajapati was re-inducted in the Cabinet. I removed Dipak Singhal on my father’s orders, says Akhilesh Yadav.
10.43 am: Agar Netaji ya party ke khilaaf koi shaazish ho rahi hai to mai uski kaarwaahi karunga (If anybody is indulging in consparicies against Mulayam Singh Yadav, I will personally look into it), says UP CM.
10.40 am: Mujhe pradesh party pramukh ka pad chhodne me koi pareshani nahi thi. I would have resigned had Netaji asked me to, says Akhilesh.
10.39 am: Some people are creating unnecessary confusion. My father is my guru, my mentor. I am not creating another party. I became the Chief Minister with the blessings of Netaji and I have forever worked for the welfare of the people, added Akhilesh.
10.37 am: People are saying a new party will be formed. Who is forming is a new party? I am not, says Akhilesh Yadav.
10.35 am: People who have been ousted from party need to leave the meeting, force won’t work, says Shivpal Yadav at the meeting.
10.22 am: This father and son confusion will be creating dissensions in the party, says R Rajagopalan
10.20 am: UP CM Akhilesh Yadav reaches party office.
10.15 am: Former Bollywood actor and senior BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha tweets his support for Akhilesh Yadav
One fervently hoped that a youngster like Akhilesh Yadav would lead India’s largest state on the path of development, peace and prosperity.
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) October 23, 2016
Really unfortunate to see him getting trapped by his own elders in a vicious game of power play within the family while many outsiders gloat
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) October 23, 2016
My heart goes out to Akhilesh for the situation he is trapped in. Hope wish and pray that he comes out clean from this political quagmire.
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) October 23, 2016
10.10 am: Reports suggest that Akhilesh Yadav might be sacked from the party today.
09.42 am: Supporters of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi party leader Shivpal Yadav clashed outside the party headquarters ahead of a crucial meeting called by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 24, 2016
09.30 am: We are preparing for upcoming elections and will directly meet people, I knew this will happen someday, says Shivpal Singh Yadav.
09.18 am: Shivpal Singh Yadav reaches party office in Lucknow.
08.50 am: Mulayam Singh Yadav calls for a meeting of MPs, MLAs, MLCs and party senior leaders to discuss the current situation in Samajwadi Party.
7:15 pm: Not sad that I have been expelled from the party but I’m hurt because of the allegations that have been levelled against me: Ramgopal Yadav
Ram Gopal Yadav statement after being sacked from Samajwadi party, says will continue to support Akhilesh Yadav till he becomes CM pic.twitter.com/ehuR67Nbx2
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 23, 2016
7: 10 pm : Ramgopal Yadav said that he Mulayam Singh Yadav is not just my elder brother, he is also my ‘guru’ in politics but is currently surrounded by “evil powers”.
6:47 pm: SP Women’s Wing member Manju Pathak says that the group won’t be celebrating Diwali as their entire family has been dispersed
6: 20 pm: SP’s Naresh Agarwal says that the he doesn’t believe in accusations made on Ram Gopal.
5.30 pm: BSP’s Sudhindra Bhadoria said that SP has become thirsty for one another’s wealth. UP’s law and order has destroyed.
5:20 pm: SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav calls for a meeting with the senior party leaders, today.
4:30 pm: Suspended SP Minister Syeda Shadab Fatima says that it’s the CM’s choice whether or not he wants to keep someone in his party.
4:24 pm: Samajwadi Party expels General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav for a period of 6 years from all party positions
4:10 pm: It’s CM’s prerogative, he did what he thought was correct; not right to question it: Suspended SP Min Sayeda Shadab Fatima on her suspension.
3:55 pm: Ram Gopal Verma expelled from Samajwadi Party for six years. Shivpal accuses him of trying to break the party.
2:45 pm: Shivpal hits out at cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, says later is trying to create rift. Adds that the party will go to polls under Mulayam Singh Yadav. He also alleged that some leaders have joined hands with BJP to escape from CBI’s clutches.
2:10 pm: Informed Mulayam aboutthe decision to sack some ministers, says Akhilesh Yadav.
1: 55 pm: Azam Khan says it is up to the CM to decide whom to keep in the cabinet and whom not to. Hits out at Amar Singh, accuses him of destroying the party.
1: 27 pm: MLA Raja Bhaiya meets Akhilesh Yadav at CM’s residence
1:05 pm: Party leader Neelam Romila Singh asks whole Yadav family to be together ahead of Assembly polls
12:38 pm: Posters of Amar Singh burnt by Samajwadi Part supporters.
12:30 pm: UP Chief Minister sacks Film Promotion board head Jaya Prada
12:15 pm: CM said that whoever is close to Amar Singh cannot be in the cabinet, Mainpuri MLA Raju Yadav says after the meeting.
12:08 pm: Reports say Akhilesh misbehaves with Amar Singh in the meeting.
12:02 pm: Akhilesh also sacks pro-Amar Singh leaders from the cabinet.
11:55 am: Shivpal meets party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.
11:38 am: CM Akhilesh Yadav claims all well within the party. says SP is united.
11:34 am: Akhilesh Yadav sacks uncle Shivpal Yadav from the cabinet along with Om Praksh Singh, Narad Rai and Shadab Fatima.
11: 15 am: Rewati Raman Singh, Naresh Agarwal and Mata Prasad Pandey reach Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence.
11:10: Akhilesh Yadav holds the meeting of party legislatures.
10:59 am: Gayatri Prajapati, a Shivpal loyalist, who was sacked as Mining Minister and then taken back into the cabinet, reaches Akhilesh’s house. Nearly 100 MLAs and MLCs reach for the meeting which expected to begin in short while.
10:08 am: Senior leader Mohammad Shahid says no difference within the party. There is only one camp in the party, which is under Mulayam Singh Yadav.
10: 05 am: Crucial meeting of Samajwadi Party MLAs and MLCs at Akhilesh’s crucial meeting today. Shivpal’s camp likely to skip.
As the confrontation between the Akhilesh camp and the Mulayam camp appeared to be reaching a point of no return, reports were already doing the rounds that the Chief Minister could launch a new party named ‘National Samajwadi Party’ or ‘Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party’ with motorcycle as its symbol. Interestingly, according to some media reports, Ramgopal had met officials of the Election Commission in New Delhi a few days back, which was seen as an exercise aimed at exploring a new symbol and party name if Akhilesh dumps SP.