Newly appointed Samajwadi Party state chief Shivpal Yadav on Thursday evening resigned from all the party posts and ministerial berths held by him in the Uttar Pradesh government. His son Aditya Yadav also resigned as Chairman of Pradeshik Cooperative Federation. The announcement came within minutes after Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his Lucknow residence. News channel ETV reported that Akhilesh refused to accept Shivpal’s resignation and sent back his letter, but the latter is adamant on quitting from all posts.
UP Health Minister Ravidas Mehrotra told news agency ANI that the party’s parliamentary board will convene tomorrow to resolve the feud. “SP parliamentary board meeting will resolve the issues; Akhileshji & Shivpalji will start working together,” Mehrotra said.
Earlier today, Shivpal met Akhilesh in Lucknow, but the meeting lasted for only 15 minutes. Mulayam tried to broker a peace deal between his warring brother and son. His efforts, however, have failed to diffuse the tension as Shivpal handed his resignation from all party and government posts to Akhilesh. There were indications that Shivpal will be tasked with the herculean effort of navigating the party through the upcoming state assembly elections, while Akhilesh will concentrate on carrying the message of development to the people.
On Tuesday, Akhilesh was replaced by Shivpal as the party’s state chief. A day after he was replaced, the chief minister stripped his uncle Shivpal of three key portfolios. The turf war escalated with the sacking of Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Deepak Singhal, who is considered to be close to Shivpal, and two cabinet ministers. However, Akhilesh clarified that there was no rift within the family but hinted at trouble brewing within the government. He lamented that “outsiders” were interfering in party affairs.
Akhilesh found backing from Mulayam’s brother Ram Gopal, who said that the SP leadership made a mistake replacing his nephew. Ram Gopal, who met Akhilesh in Lucknow, said the SP leadership made a “mistake” even if “unintentional” by removing and not seeking the resignation of Akhilesh from the post of state party president. He said the Chief Minister would have quit the party post had his resignation been sought.
Ram Gopal added that “some people” with “no concern” for the interests of the party and with “no association” to the party were “taking advantage” of Mulayam Singh’s “simplicity” and causing damage.
Party insiders suggested that Ram Gopal was referring to Amar Singh, who was recently brought into the party fold by Shivpal. Akhilesh ‘outsider’ remark was also apparently directed at the Rajya Sabha MP. Singh, however, denied that Akhilesh hinted that he was meddling in party affairs. He claimed that Akhilesh is like a son to him and he never had, till date, spoken out against him.