It seems Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav hasn’t completely embraced the terms of compromise negotiated between him and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, the Samajwadi Party chief in UP, as brokered by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. The truce conditions restored power to Akhilesh and Shivpal at the government and party positions, respectively.
Akhilesh was in Saifai recently where he called on Mulayam’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, who was recently expelled from the Samajwadi Party for being hand-in-glove with SP’s electoral rival Bharatiya Janata Party. The meeting has been described as a “courtesy call”. However, it is understood that party and election issues were central to the over an hour long discussions. Ram Gopal’s nephew and MLC Arvind Pratap Yadav, who was expelled in September by Shivpal, was also present in the meeting. Arvind was expelled for making derogatory remarks about Mulayam.
Akhilesh’s displeasure over his father’s support to Shivpal and Amar Singh at the cost of antagonising him has created a vacuum between the father-son. Rumours of Akhilesh floating a new political outfit are still rife. Till such time Akhilesh openly accepts his father’s conditions for the truce and that reflects in his actions, the situation will remain detrimental to the Samajwadi Party’s future prospects.
Akhilesh has been left miffed with the power tussle between him and his uncles over the last two months and the public spats have only hurt the party’s image. He appears unwilling to be treated as a pushover by his uncles and is fighting tooth and nail to make a stand against them. Ram Gopal Yadav is the only elder generation Yadav who has supported Akhilesh openly in this tug-of-war.
Ram Gopal Yadav is known to be close to Akhilesh and stood with the CM during the raging feud between Akhilesh and Mulayam-Shivpal-Amar Singh combine. Akhilesh met Ram Gopal at their ancestral house in Saifai. Shivpal was in Saifai as well but he chose to stay away from meeting his estranged cousin.
Ram Gopal was expelled for allegedly promoting factional divide in the Samajwadi pariwar. He had also written a letter to party workers urging them to back Akhilesh claiming that the future of the Samajwadi Party lies with the young chief minister. These subtle digs at Mulayam and Shivpal were not well received by the party top brass and Ram Gopal was shown the door. Akhilesh seemed to be on his way out as well, possibly on his own wish, but for now Mulayam has managed to hold his ship together.
The feud in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s clan seems to be far from over. Mulayam Singh has repeatedly stated that he doesn’t want his family and party to implode. He has, however, lambasted Akhilesh on several occasions for the latter’s bitter relations and outbursts against Shivpal and Mulayam’s close confidante Amar Singh. In such times, the vitriol has done the damage and the party and his family remain on the brink of a split.