Amid speculation that he will resign from the UP cabinet, senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav, who was stripped of key portfolios by his nephew and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, today said giving and taking portfolios is the discretion of the CM and he will abide by the decision of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“It is the discretion of CM to give (or take) portfolios and remove officers and keep his advisors. I will follow netaji’s directions and will fulfill responsibilities given by him,” he told reporters when asked about speculation on his resignation.
Asked about his future course of action, Shivpal said, “I will talk to netaji. People of the state have full faith in netaji and the Samajwadi Party”.
“I will be going to Lucknow and discuss (with party workers). We will fight elections together,” he said.
Over thousand of supporters of Shivpal gathered outside his residence in Saifai and the PWD guest house to express solidarity with him as speculation was rife that he might resign.
The Chief Minister had yesterday stripped his uncle Shivpal Yadav of key ministerial portfolios, hours after his removal as the party’s state unit chief and appointment of the latter in his place.
Sharp differences in the Yadav family came out into the open as the Chief Minister shunted Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal, barely two months after his appointment, setting off a chain of developments that saw the SP supremo ousting his son as state party chief and replacing him with Shivpal.
Hours after Mulayam made his bother and senior cabinet minister the UP unit head of the ruling party, in an angry retort, Akhilesh clipped his uncle’s wings by stripping him of the plum PWD, irrigation and cooperative portfolios.
Differences between Akhilesh and Shivpal have been reported on several occasions, including on the choice of official to be appointed as the state’s chief secretary after Alok Ranjan’s term ended, and stalling of Qaumi Ekta Dal’s merger with SP.
Shivpal was said to have shepherded the merger of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s QED with the Samajwadi Party.
Singhal was earlier Principal Secretary (Irrigation), a department held by Shivpal.
Hours after Singhal was eased out as the state’s top bureaucrat, Mulayam’s cousin and SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav wrote to Shivpal, “SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav has appointed you as the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit. It is hoped that with your hard work, you will further strengthen the party.”
A copy of the letter was also marked to Akhilesh Yadav.
Shivpal is now left with land development, water resources and social welfare ministries.