The infighting within the Samajwadi party continued Thursday as party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav backed younger brother Shivpal Yadav as the Uttar Pradesh unit president. According to TV reports, Mulayam reiterated his stance on replacing his son, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav as the party’s state unit and made his support for Shivpal clear. He reportedly added that Shivpal would remain a minister in the Akhilesh cabinet. The chief minister had taken away some important portfolios from Shivpal in an apparent reaction to the latter being made the state unit chief.
Earlier in the day, the party’s National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters that the SP leadership made a mistake when they removed Akhilesh Yadav as the UP unit chief, a post he has held since 2012, adding that, “Akhilesh’s removal led to misunderstanding” but “the matter will be resolved.”
Even though Ram Gopal asserted that there was “no crisis in SP”, Mulyam showing his support for Shivpal over Akhilesh fits in with the recent incidents exposing infighting in the party leadership. On Tuesday, Akhilesh Yadav stripped Shivpal of all key portfolios in the UP cabinet, hours after the latter was announced as the UP state unit chief. In a statement Wednesday, Akhilesh said that “What you are witnessing is a fight in the government, not the family.”