TWO DAYS after the Samajwadi Party (SP) called off the merger with gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED), senior minister and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother, Shivpal Singh Yadav, skipped the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers on Monday.
As the party’s state in-charge and chief spokesperson, Shivpal had announced the merger with QED at a press conference on June 21, where Ansari’s brothers were present.
With Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressing his unhappiness, the SP parliamentary board decided to call off the merger on Saturday. Akhilesh made it clear that there was no place for people like Mukhtar Ansari in SP.
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- CM Akhilesh Yadav like Duryodhan but Shivpal like Hanuman: QED leader Afzal Ansari
- UP: ‘Humiliated’ QED blames Akhilesh Yadav for merger cancellation
- Reversing merger with QED and cabinet reshuffle: Akhilesh’s image makeover exercise
- Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Balram Yadav sacked
SP leaders said Shivpal was in Saifai on Monday. Party sources said he was unhappy with the way his image was put at stake to salvage Akhilesh’s reputation with regard to the QED merger.
After the swearing-in ceremony, both Akhilesh and Mulayam avoided questions on Shivpal’s absence.
Later in the day, Shivpal, who arrived in Lucknow to attend a programme, said Akhilesh had the “full support” off all the state ministers. “The chief minister is working in a planned manner and in the right way. When any decision is taken, all the ministers are collectively responsible for it. All his (Akhilesh’s) decisions are acceptable,” he said.
He further said that “there is no place for criminal elements in the SP”. He added that Mukhtar Ansari was “never inducted” in the SP.
Speaking to mediapersons earlier, Amar Singh, who also attended the oath-taking, said Shivpal was not upset, he was just busy. He even went on to say: “I am Shivpal”.
SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav also downplayed Shivpal’s absence, saying he was out of town. “There are no differences within the Samajwadi Party… The media has been spreading all sorts of wrong reports,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minority and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan also skipped the oath-taking, opting to attend a function in Meerut University