Steve Jarding, political advisor to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for the impending elections, has denied writing an e-mail talking about staging a feud in the Samajwadi Party. He called the mail, which has been doing the rounds of social media platforms, a ‘slanderous campaign’ by Akhilesh’s political opponents.
The e-mail, the veracity of which cannot be confirmed by indianexpress.com, was sent reportedly from Jarding’s account to a colleague suggesting the planning of a fight within the family and in turn ‘consolidating’ Akhilesh’s ‘clean image.’ The e-mail, sent in July this year, comes at a time when a full-blown war that had been brimming for months within the family has resulted in Akhilesh and senior leader Ramgopal Yadav getting expelled from the party for six years.
“On the media push front, my two cents are to advise Yadav Sr to orchestrate family feud scenario. Implicate the uncle, consolidate Yadav Jr’s clean image and project as future head of the party. This is on priority, so let’s talk at 2 pm your time,” Jarding reportedly writes in the e-mail, a screenshot of which was tweeted by journalist Rahul Kanwal. The reference to ‘uncle’ is to Shivpal Yadav, state president of the Samajwadi Party, brother of Mulayam and Akhilesh’s chief rival within the party.
Internal mail from Akhilesh’s US advisor Steve Jarding leaked. US coach suggests war in SP is orchestrated to project CM as development icon pic.twitter.com/b2ff7twLTS
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) December 30, 2016
Also read: Jarding’s interview to Indian Express
“This is a categorical denial of the fake snapshot that Mr Rahul Kanwal posted on his Twitter page. Such political tactics reflect the immaturity and desperation of the opposition as not enough research was done to verify the facts and draft a properly worded mail,” Jarding said in a statement posted on Twitter. He also suggested taking legal action against those circulating the e-mail.
— Siddharth Mazumdar (@mazumdar_sid) December 31, 2016
Jarding is a lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School — he has a course called ‘The Making of a Politician’ — and a founding partner and CEO of the consultancy SJB Strategies International. At home, Jarding has worked earlier on campaigns of candidates for the US Senate as well as governors’ elections.
The expulsion of Akhilesh and Ramgopal came after two different candidate lists for the upcoming polls were released by the Akhilesh and Shivpal camps. Both Akhilesh and Shivpal have vociferously clashed on who should get tickets from the party for elections. Shivpal, who was a minister in the Akhilesh cabinet, was sacked by the chief minister a few months ago.
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