Ram Gopal Yadav’s re-entry into Samajwadi Party (SP) fold indicates that SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is keen on undoing all the damage done to the party due to the raging feud between the latter’s Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav and his brother and SP’s Uttar Pradesh chief Shivpal Yadav. The party supremo has had to do some firefighting before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections next year to save the party’s image and hold on to its vote base.
Ram Gopal Yadav, Mulayam’s cousin and Rajya Sabha member, is closer to Akhilesh than Mulayam or Shivpal. He was expelled from the party on October 23 for six years barely hours after Shivpal and three of his close hands were sacked by Akhilesh from his Cabinet. He was alleged to be part of a conspiracy to break down the SP and Mulayam’s Samajwadi Pariwar. He was alleged by Shivpal to be the root cause for the party’s fallout with the Maha-Gathbandhan in Bihar.
Mulayam released a statement on Thursday announcing that Ram Gopal has been reinstated to the party as its National General Secretary, spokesman, leader of party in Rajya Sabha and member of the SP national parliamentary board.
The divide in the ruling Yadav family has given risen to a lot of vitriol which has hurt the party’s prospects in the upcoming election. Ram Gopal was expelled but Akhilesh, however, called on his uncle at the ancestral home in Saifai on Diwali. Mulayam Singh had to literally throw position at his son and brother to broker a truce between the two so that the party stands a chance in the next elections.
He restored authority to Shivpal in the party at the state level – which gives him the authority to choose whom to give tickets for the next elections. Akhilesh was given command of the government.
All developments gave rise to speculation that Akhilesh might go rogue and that he hasn’t accepted the terms of compromise as set by his father. Also, the SP’s loyal Yadav and Muslim voters have been left estranged and are looking to a new party. In such times of turmoil, Mulayam has, therefore, had to save the party’s face and portray that all is well in the family and the party so that they stand some chance to pose any challenge to the BSP and the BJP in the elections, if they are to hold power in one of the most important political power centres in the country.