Updated: December 28, 2015 7:23:36 am
CHIEF MINISTER Akhilesh Yadav did not attend Saifai Mahotsav consecutively for the second day on Sunday, giving rise to speculation that he might be “upset” with the expulsion of two of his close aides from Samajwadi Party.
On Friday, two of Akhilesh loyalists — Sunil Singh Yadav and Anand Bhadauria — were expelled from the party. While Sajan was the national president of SP Chhatrasabha, Bhadauria was former national president of Lohia Vahini. Another SP leader, Subodh Yadav — son of the party’s MLA from Etah, Rameshwar Yadav — was also expelled. All three were expelled on charges of “anti-party” activities.
Saifai Mahotsav is considered close to the Yadav family, as it is held annually in the memory of Akhilesh’s cousin Ranveer Singh. Akhilesh was to inaugurate the Indian Grameen Cricket League as part of the Mahotsav on Sunday, but he did not turn up.
On Saturday too, Akhilesh did not attend the inaugural ceremony. The whole family, including SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav were present during the event.
Sources in SP said Akhilesh is unhappy over Mulayam’s decision to expel Sunil and Bhadauria. It is also seen as a move to clip the wings of Akhilesh loyalists in the party.
A senior party leader claimed it also signals new equations in the Yadav family. Already, Shivpal has been given the charge of zila panchayat chairman elections. This was the first time that the expulsion letter was issued bearing Shivpal’s signature. This, despite Akhilesh being the state president of SP.
Akhilesh is reportedly already under pressure from the ongoing social media campaign, asking him to be cautious of forces that are out to diminish his power. One Sandeep Yadav has even composed a poem requesting Akhilesh to stand with his loyalists.
The 17-day annual family fiesta, being held for the last 18 years at Mulayam’s native place, is likely to see performances by singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, ghazal singer Peenaz Masani and several Bollywood stars. All members of the Yadav family usually attend the inaugural session of the Mahotsav. Last year too, Akhilesh was present, along with MP wife Dimple and children.
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