Samajwadi Party’s first family members reached Saifai in Etawah on the occasion of Diwali but did not get together. According to a TOI report, Akhilesh Yadav, who arrived at the village on Saturday, spent time with his uncle and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, who was sacked from the party recently, besides other senior members of his family and came back to Lucknow on Sunday. His other uncle, Shivpal Yadav, with whom Akhilesh has been locked in a power struggle, reached Saifai only after the CM left for the state capital. Shivpal went straight to his Chaugurji residence by road. He was welcomed by his supporters near Bakewar crossing of Etawah. Akhilesh’s father and SP chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, on the other hand stayed put in Lucknow till late Sunday evening.
It was for the first time since Ram Gopal was expelled from the party on October 23 that CM met him. Party sources told TOI that Akhilesh had arrived at Ram Gopal’s residence on Sunday morning and their meeting lasted for about 40 minutes . Sources also told TOI Ram Gopal pledged support to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and wished him luck for the 2017 assembly elections. Mulayam Singh Yadav had expelled his cousin Ram Gopal from the party for six years on October 23 accusing him of having met top leaders of the BJP thrice.
In a last minute decision to celebrate Diwali in Saifai, Akhilesh Yadav had reached his native village in Etawah on Saturday evening, accompanied by daughter Aditi, son Arjun and cabinet colleague Rajendra Chaudhary. Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Singh Yadav and Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav were already present, while Ram Gopal Yadav reached on Saturday afternoon. Ram Gopal’s son Akshay Yadav was also present. Sources told TOI during CM’s visit to Ram Gopal’s house, others present included Mainpuri MLA Raju Yadav, Shikohabad MLA Hari Om Yadav, Firozabad zila panchayat chairman Vijay Yadav and MLC Arvind Pratap Yadav, the nephew of Ram Gopal. Arvind was expelled by Shivpal on September 17 on charges of making derogatory remarks against the SP supremo.