The apparent rift within the first family of Uttar Pradesh seems to be healing. Shivpal Yadav, brother of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh, has come with statements that suggest there is no fissure in party ranks and his personal equation with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is fine. “There was no resentment. I have to follow whatever responsibilities that the chief minister and Netaji entrust me with. They have the rights,” he said. According to a media report, Shivpal said he had wanted “Netaji’s (Mulayam Singh Yadav) directions and has received them. He also emphasised on taking “everyone along in the party”.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Akhilesh denied any rift in his family. Talking to reporters on the issue of stripping his uncle Shivpal of some key ministries in the state, Akhilesh said that “sarkaar ka hai, parivaar ka nahi (this is a fight in the government, not in the family).”
On Tuesday, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had replaced Akhilesh with Shivpal as the state party chief. In return, the UP CM removed Shivpal from some of the key ministries of his government. Ahead of the crucial state Assembly elections, Mulayam’s move may have irked Akhilesh as this would imply the loss of his control on the state party machinery. In contrast, Mulayam may have taken the move to placate Shivpal who had recently threatened to quit the party.