Lucknow, Dec 30: It’s father versus son in Uttar Pradesh. The latest and fastest political development in Uttar Pradesh involving the stalwarts of Yadav clan can prove disastrous for the Samajwadi Party that ruled the state for over two decades in the ensuing elections.
Samajwadi Party Supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav Friday dropped a bombshell by announcing expulsion of his son and political heir Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of the state for six years for alleged anti-party activities.
This big step just ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state is bound to have its impact on the electoral prospects of the party.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has also shown the door to his cousin and general secretary of the party Prof Ram Gopal Yadav for the second time in recent months, accusing him of ‘spoiling the career of the chief minister’. He was also expelled for six years.
However, the official line stated by the party disclosed that both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal Yadav were expelled for ‘weakening the party’.
Mulayam Singh poured his heart out saying, “I made Akhilesh chief minister...and now he does not even consult me” while declaring his son’s expulsion from the party. However, he did not name the successor of Akhilesh as next chief minister. The announcement for assembly elections in UP is expected any time from now.
The development in the past few days indicated towards the possibility of a vertical split in the Samajwadi Party, the breaking point came today when Ram Gopal Yadav, who is considered to be a staunch supporter of the Chief Minister, called an emergency meeting defying the party supremo.
After this Mulayam Singh Yadav issued a show cause notice to both asking why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for releasing a parallel list of candidates for the assembly elections. The list released by Akhilesh included names of several party leaders who are close to him and whose names did not appear in the official list released by Mulayam Singh a couple of days ago.
The SP chief has convened the meeting of all the candidates on Saturday named by him to project them as official nominees and that his authority cannot be challenged.
Akhilesh Yadav's list of 235 included 187 candidates who also feature in his father's list, and tomorrow’s meeting will be watched keenly for how many of these party leaders attend, signalling that they are with Mulayam Singh.
The chief minister’s defiant move yesterday was seen as a last-ditch effort to pressure his father into reconsidering the candidacy of his key aides after they failed to reach common ground at a meeting in Lucknow.
Akhilesh Yadav has in recent months engaged in a bitter power tussle with his uncle Shivpal Yadav, who is the party’s UP chief and was present by Mulayam Singh’s side when he expelled the chief minister. Mulayam Singh has consistently supported his younger brother.
Commenting on this expulsion Ram Gopal Yadav said that this was grossly unjust. He alleged that they were denied natural justice as they were not given time to clear their stand on the issue.
The official Samajwadi Party list has on it several people backed by Shivpal and whose candidacy has been fiercely opposed by Akhilesh Yadav, including a gangster-turned-politician who faces 44 serious criminal charges.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has also repeatedly said no one will be projected as the party's presumptive chief minister, which is unacceptable to Akhilesh Yadav's supporters, who say the young chief minister is the party's face.
The Samajwadi Party's internal strife gives an added advantage to the BJP and Mayawati's BSP in the mega battle for Uttar Pradesh, being pegged as the semi-final before national elections in 2019. Elections to UP's 403 assembly seats are expected to be announced by the Election Commission any day now.
Most youth supporters of the Samajwadi Party are backing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Some of them tried to immolate them in the feat of passion. Police bandobast has been tightened in the state to avoid any untoward incident