Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has been shown the door from Samajwadi Party (SP) by his father and party supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav. This happened on December 30 and has effectively come as a bolt from the blue. The state is supposed to go into elections soon enough and therefore, such a decision was entirely unexpected.
Now, the UP CM has been talking to legislators in his party at his Lucknow residence in order to try and find a way out of the predicament. Ram Gopal Yadav, the cousin of Mulayam Singh and a senior party leader, has been expelled from the party as well for reiterating his claim that the former was toying with the young CM’s political career.
Incidentally, Ram Gopal happens to be a member of Rajya Sabha as well and before his expulsion, had called for an emergency national convention on January 1.
What is SP saying?
On its part, SP has stated that both the leaders have been asked to leave since they are making the party weak and attempting to destroy it. The official reason given in this case is that Akhilesh is indulging in activities and taking decisions that are against the party’s best interests. Mulayam has stated that it was him who made Akhilesh the CM and described how he is working without bothering to consult him on different issues.
The head of SP has made it quite clear that he was sacking his son in order for the party to be saved from being destroyed.
Mulayam has made it quite clear that he has built his party with plenty of effort and he wouldn’t let anybody destroy it. The senior leader has, however, not stated who the new CM candidate of the party is going to be. He has also criticized Ram Gopal for summoning the said convention effectively, stating that he had no right to do so since he wasn’t the party head. He also accused the latter of misleading Akhilesh and thus, hurting the CM.
He has also criticized the CM for supporting Ram Gopal in this clash of interests. Mulayam said that the CM doesn’t understand how Ram Gopal is attempting to destroy his future. The former CM of UP also criticized the incumbent for supporting Ram Gopal’s decision to call a national convention. Mulayam also questioned the logic of Akhilesh coming out with another list when the party has already declared its candidates.
A six-year long expulsion
Mulayam stated that the expulsion will be effective for six years. This decision has effectively brought the party to the precipice of a split before the state-wide elections in 2017. Both the warring parties had recently come out with separate electoral lists recently – it was basically a sign of things to come.
Separate meetings within the now-fragmented party
Now, the situation has reached such a head that both the camps are meeting their trusted aides in order to chalk up plans and perhaps get an edge over the other. Akhilesh’s camp has already claimed that around 80% of the functionaries and MLAs in the party are supporting him and arrangements to make him the party president on January 1 are already in place. Once it is done, Akhilesh will claim the party symbol of cycle and also get in touch with the Election Commission regarding the ensuing elections.
Background of the decision
Even if the decision has surprised many, others who have followed the party’s fortunes over the years may not be so amazed. The party has been plagued by infighting for the past six years and as such this outcome is not entirely unexpected. Apart from Mulayam and Akhilesh, there has also been ample tension between Ram Gopal and Shivpal Yadav, a prominent leader. Even before the split happened, this crisis had shown no signs of abating. The issue had received plenty of coverage in national media as well and this meant that Akhilesh was always attempting to cover it up with claims that how it was all about the government and had nothing to do with the family.
On December 29, Akhilesh came out with his own list of 255 candidates for the UP polls that are supposed to be announced any time in 2017. However, an official list for the assembly elections had already been released on December 28 by Mulayam. Akhilesh had, however, consulted Mulayam on December 28 before releasing the list only to be met with flat-out refusal.
In fact, the party chief even deigned him unworthy of being the party’s CM-elect. Akhilesh and Ram Gopal were also slapped with show cause notices for the said list. It was because of this rift that the emergency national convention had been summoned.