A day after he disagreed with Akhilesh Yadavs decision to keep DP Yadav out of the Samajwadi Party,senior leader Mohan Singh was sacked as the partys national spokesman an unambiguous signal from Mulayam Singh Yadav that in the run-up to the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh,the word of Akhilesh would be final.
On the direction of Mulayam Singh Yadav,Mohan Singh has been removed from the post of the partys national spokesman. Professor Ram Gopal Yadav has been given his charge, the SP said in a press statement issued in Lucknow today.
The statement gave no reason for Singhs sacking in the middle of the campaign,but senior SP leaders confirmed it was his comment in Allahabad on Wednesday advocating don-turned-politician D P Yadavs induction into the party that was responsible.
Singh spoke after Akhilesh Mulayams son and state SP chief had scuttled a move by leader of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly Shivpal Singh Yadav and the partys Muslim face Azam Khan to get D P Yadav into the party.
New spokesperson Ram Gopal Yadav told The Indian Express that the action against Singh was related to the matter concerning D P Yadav,who had gone and met Azam Khan seeking induction into the party.
State unit chief (Akhilesh) had clearly announced that he (D P Yadav) will not be taken in. Subsequently,Azam Khan had said that these decisions were taken by the partys state and national leaderships. But Mohan Singh was reported to have advocated D P Yadavs induction,saying he was a respected leader. He also questioned the authority of Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal said.
This generated huge reaction among the workers who have been preparing for elections under the leadership of the state unit chief, Ram Gopal added,indicating Akhileshs supremacy in campaign matters.
Whatever SP is today,it is because of Uttar Pradesh. So,the authority of the UP state unit chief should not be questioned. He (Singh) should not have said it publicly, Ram Gopal said.
A visibly distressed Mohan Singh said he had been removed after he asked Mulayam to relieve him because of poor health.
I had told Netaji (Mulayam) that I am not keeping well and I should be relieved of this responsibility. I firmly believe that the decision has been taken on this basis. I accept it and will honour it as a disciplined soldier of Netaji, Singh told The Indian Express.
My statement in Allahabad was distorted by one TV channel. All I said was that I favoured D P Yadavs induction. But I did not give a character certificate to D P Yadav,nor did I question the authority of the state unit chief, Singh said. He also lamented that the party leadership had not bothered to cross-check his reported comment with him.
Aware of Mohan Singhs seniority in the party,Ram Gopal too sought to temper the humiliation.
He (Mohan Singh) remains the national general secretary of the party and also the member of apex parliamentary board of the party. In fact he is not barred from interacting with the media and appearing on news TV, Ram Gopal said.