Despite the Samajwadi Party denying all reports of a ‘rift’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asserted that the people of Uttar Pradesh are paying the price thanks to what it called an “open civil war” within the state government.
BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh told ANI, “Since Akhilesh Yadav is flexing his muscles to show that he is chief minister, then why is he not taking action against Shivpal Yadav who is embroiled in multiple scams and controversies? And, if at some point Mulayam feels that his son is unsuccessful, then why is Akhilesh chief minister in the first place? All this is not being missed by the people of UP.” Shivpal Yadav, who was stripped of key portfolios, has said he will abide by the directions of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav, adding that he was happy with his new responsibilities. Speaking to ANI here, Yadav said he has been briefed about his new responsibilities by the party leadership, which include assuring the victory of the SP in the state polls. “There never was any question of disgruntlement in the first place. Whatever responsibility the party gives me, I have to follow.
I am happy with my new position, it is quite significant,” Yadav said. While commenting on the decision taken by Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal said it is a right of a chief minister to select their cabinet ministers and to assign them their responsibilities, and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister has done the same.
Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday divested Shivpal of all important ministerial portfolios including PWD, irrigation, cooperative, flood control and revenue and handed him the social welfare department. Prior to it, Shivpal had replaced him as Samajwadi Party president on the instructions of Mulayam Singh Yadav. The development came hours after Akhilesh Yadav axed state chief secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal Yadav, and replaced him with Rahul Bhatnagar.
Disagreements between Akhilesh and his uncle have been reported on several occasions, including on the choice of official to be appointed as the state’s chief secretary after Alok Ranjan’s term ended and the postponement of the Quami Ekta Dal’s merger with the Samajwadi Party. The move comes at a time when the state is gearing up for assembly elections next year.