Amid reports of differences between them, Shivpal Yadav, brother of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Friday met his nephew and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his official residence here to send out a message that all is well in the family. The 90-minute meeting is being seen as an attempt at reconciliation between Shivpal, a Cabinet Minister, and Akhilesh after intervention of the latter’s father Mulayam.
Later talking to media-persons at his residence, Shivpal denied any “differences” within the family. “Where is it?…I can’t see. The family had met yesterday and is with each other today also. We (Akhilesh and Shivpal) were busy yesterday. So we sat together today,” he said when asked to comment on reports of differences. Shivpal had skipped a meeting of the state cabinet on Wednesday, adding fuel to speculation about his unhappiness, which was music to the ears of the opposition in view of the upcoming Assembly elections.
“He is Chief Minister and I am a minister, we have joint responsibility in the government,” he said. At the same time, Shivpal said he was “pained” when action was not taken against land grabbers and accepted that some “party office bearers” were involved in such “illegal” acts. “It’s my opinion that such persons should be sacked from the party,” he said.
Recently, even Mulayam had given a tongue lashing to SP lawmakers asking them to refrain from land grabbing and making easy money and instead concentrate on development work if they wanted to retain power in the state. Exuding confidence that SP would form government again, and this time with a thumping majority, Shivpal said, “In 2017 we will get majority again and it will be bigger than 2012.” SP had won 224 of the 403 UP Assembly seats last time and stormed to power.
At the meeting with Akhilesh, Shivpal is understood to have narrated his concerns related to governance in the state which is busy preparing for the elections barely few months away. Hailing the works done by Akhlesh government, Shivpal said, “Besides distributioin of laptops and scholarships, other welfare schemes were launched in the state for benefit of people.” Asked about Mulayam’s statement that some persons were conspiring against him, Shivpal said, “if it is so, Netaji (Mulayam) will deal with it.”
He said no discussion took place with Akhilesh on organisational matters. On the controversial question of merger of Quami Ekta Dal(QED) of underworld don Mukhtar Ansari with Samajwadi Party, he said, “The final decision in this regard will be taken by Netaji.” The differences within the party had come to the fore after Shivpal, who is also incharge of SP state unit, held a press conference in June to announce merger of QED with SP.
Akhilesh, however, did not approve of the idea and at his behest the merger was cancelled by SP’s Parliamentary Board three days later, leaving Shivpal red faced. Shivpal then displayed his unhappiness at the birthday party of another brother Ram Gopal Yadav. He arrived late at the venue of the party, so much that the birthday cake had already been cut in the presence of Mulayam, Akhilesh and other key leaders.
Also, instead of going to the dais, Shivpal sat among the invitees at the birthday party. Later, on prodding by leaders, he went to the dais but chose to occupy a chair in the back row and even avoided going up to Ramgopal to wish him on his birthday. Later, Shivpal was also conspicuous by his absence at the swearing-in ceremony of ministers at Raj Bhawan when Balram Yadav was reinducted.
Akhilesh had sacked Balram from his ministry for facilitating QED-SP amalgamation that took place hurriedly when the Chief Minister was away from the state capital. But, three days later the SP parliamentary board — the party’s highest policy making body — while calling off the merger also decided to reinduct Balram, showing that top functionaries in the party were not on the same page.
Fishing in troubled waters, BSP supremo Mayawati on Wednesday urged the Election Commission to hold Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh by February, alleging that the “infighting” within the Mulayam Singh Yadav clan will have an adverse effect on the functioning of the SP government. She alleged that while BJP and Samajwadi Party want to delay the assembly polls, the Commission should start working on the schedule and announce the dates in January-February in larger “public interest”.
The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said ideally the BJP-led government should have prepared for imposition of President’s Rule in the state long back due to the prevailing situation there.