Mulayam Singh Yadav’s attempt at keeping his flock together seems to be failing. What was earlier rumoured as a feud in the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief’s political family is apparently out in the open now. Mulayam’s elder son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has stripped his uncle Shivpal Yadav of all important portfolios. This is being considered as a retaliatory move by Akhilesh after Mulayam replaced Akhilesh by Shivpal as SP’s state chief yesterday.
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.
Even as Shivpal continues to maintain that all is well in the family and that he would take a further decision after talking to Mulayam, the brewing feud seems set to escalate further. Incidentally, Akhilesh had a smooth ride for most of his chief ministership. The feud is new when elections are approaching.
We trace here how the feud between Akhilesh and Shivpal came into the open in recent months.
June 2016: Akhilesh Yadav defied father Mulayam Singh and uncle Shivpal to prevent the merger of Samajwadi party with gangster Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s Qaumi Ekta Dal. However, Akhilesh recently approved the merger.
August 14: Shivpal Yadav threatened to quit SP citing lawlessness and rise in land-grab cases in the state. Making these allegations in Mainpuri, Shivpal had said: “Samajwadi Party will never allow harassment of the public…Iske liye chahe mujhe istifa kyun na dena pade (for this I am even prepared to resign)…Those involved in harassment of the people have no connection with SP).”
August 15: Mulayam launched an attack on Akhilesh. He said that ministers in the state were corrupt and a burden on the state. Mulayam warned that Shivpal’s resignation would put SP in ‘deep trouble’.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 14, 2016
September 12: In a bid to clean up the image of his government ahead of the Assembly elections, Akhilesh sacked his two important ministers facing graft charges. Both the ministers — Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and Raj Kishor Singh — were considered close to Mulayam.
September 13: Akhilesh removed his two-month-old state secretary Deepak Singhal, who was considered close to Shivpal. Singhal was replaced by with IAS officer Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar.
September 14: Mulayam replaced Akhilesh by Shivpal as the SP state unit chief. In return, Akhilesh stripped Shivpal of all important ministries.
This is certainly not the end of the crisis in UP’s so-called first family. More trouble may be brewing in some corner.
September 15: Mulayam Singh Yadav maintains that all is well in the family and Shivpal will continue as the party’s state unit chief. However, Shivpal resigns from all posts in the party as well as the state government.
September 16: Shivpal’s supporters protest in UP, demand equal status for their leader in the party vis-a-vis Akhilesh. Talks of a division in the SP starts doing the rounds as both Akhilesh and Shivpal are adamant to relent.
(With PTI inputs)