By: Faisal Fareed
Differences between Samjawadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brothers — Shivpal and Ramgopal — surfaced again after Ramgopal ordered the removal of three youth leaders from the party’s Etawah district unit on grounds that all belong to one area — Shivpal’s Assembly constituency of Jaswant Nagar.
Ashok Yadav, party’s district unit president in Etawah, said: “Ramgopal Yadavji asked me how was it that all three hailed from Jaswant Nagar. So, I removed all of them from their posts on Wednesday. Some politics in Etawah is beyond our level.”
He, however, added that those who are influential will again get their posts. “Jisko phir banna hai, wo to ban his jayega,” said Yadav.
Those who have been removed from the posts are Rajesh Yadav, Ballu Yadav and Khanna Yadav — heading district units of Chhatra Sabha, Yuvjan Sabha and Lohia Vahini, respectively. These leaders were appointed around two months ago by the party state headquarters on the recommendation of the district unit.
Local SP leaders in Etawah claimed that recently, Ramgopal was holding a party district committee meeting in Etawah when he was introduced to these three. As he interacted with them, he expressed displeasure that three important posts have gone to workers from Jaswant Nagar and reportedly directed the district president to change them.
This is not the first time that Shivpal and Ramgopal have taken objection while cultivating their own sets of loyalists. During the last Lok Sabha elections in Mainpuri, from where Mulayam was contesting, supporters of Ramgopal and Shivpal had clashed and exchanged fire.
The groups were headed by Mainpuri MLA Rajukumar Yadav Raju, who is considered close to Ramgopal and former district panchayat member Satish Yadav, who reportedly is Shivpal’s supporter.
Both had clashed over possession of a house in Mainpuri. While Satish Yadav was expelled from SP after the incident, he was reinducted within 17 days.
In Etawah too, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had a tough time appointing the district unit president. Rajeev Yadav — reportedly close to Ramgopal — was heading the Etawah unit earlier. He, however, was replaced by Ashok Yadav, who is considered close to Shivpal. Earlier, Ashok Yadav was removed after a stint of seven years when he had raised his voice against the removal of Etawah district magistrate in 2012.