Akhilesh expands cabinet: Shivpal skips oath-taking ceremony, then says no place for criminals in SP

As the party’s state in-charge and chief spokesperson, Shivpal had announced the merger with QED at a press conference on June 21, where Ansari’s brothers were present.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: June 28, 2016 12:29:55 am
    Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh elections 2017, UP, Up polls, Up chief minister, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, Up assembly elections, Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, UP Assembly elections 2017, Mukhtar Ansari, samajwadi party, Sp, BJP, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Quami Ekta Dal, QED, india news, indian express news Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav. Express File Photo)

TWO DAYS after the Samajwadi Party (SP) called off the merger with gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED), senior minister and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother, Shivpal Singh Yadav, skipped the swearing-in ceremony of new ministers on Monday.

As the party’s state in-charge and chief spokesperson, Shivpal had announced the merger with QED at a press conference on June 21, where Ansari’s brothers were present.

With Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav expressing his unhappiness, the SP parliamentary board decided to call off the merger on Saturday. Akhilesh made it clear that there was no place for people like Mukhtar Ansari in SP.

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SP leaders said Shivpal was in Saifai on Monday. Party sources said he was unhappy with the way his image was put at stake to salvage Akhilesh’s reputation with regard to the QED merger.

After the swearing-in ceremony, both Akhilesh and Mulayam avoided questions on Shivpal’s absence.

Later in the day, Shivpal, who arrived in Lucknow to attend a programme, said Akhilesh had the “full support” off all the state ministers. “The chief minister is working in a planned manner and in the right way. When any decision is taken, all the ministers are collectively responsible for it. All his (Akhilesh’s) decisions are acceptable,” he said.

He further said that “there is no place for criminal elements in the SP”. He added that Mukhtar Ansari was “never inducted” in the SP.

Speaking to mediapersons earlier, Amar Singh, who also attended the oath-taking, said Shivpal was not upset, he was just busy. He even went on to say: “I am Shivpal”.

SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav also downplayed Shivpal’s absence, saying he was out of town. “There are no differences within the Samajwadi Party… The media has been spreading all sorts of wrong reports,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minority and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan also skipped the oath-taking, opting to attend a function in Meerut University
instead.

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