Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who deeply hurt by today’s political development refused to comment on the bitter tussle in the party and said he will react publicly only on Monday.
Emerging after an ’emergency’ meeting with party leaders, Mulayam Singh said he would speak up only after meeting all legislators, former MLAs and senior party colleagues.
In dramatic tit-for-tat in ruling SP in UP today, Akhilesh ousted uncle Shivpal, a confidant of party chief Mulayam, and three others from the government and the party brass retaliated by sacking his backer and MP Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years.
The decision by the estranged Chief Minister to oust the ministers followed the earlier dismissal of Akhilesh supporters from the party today by Shivpal Yadav, the new state in charge of the Samajwadi Party and brother of Mulayam Singh.
Besides Shivpal Yadav, the other ministers thrown out were Narad Rai, Om Prakash and Shadab Fatima. Jaya Prada, an actress-turned-politician close to Rajya Sabha member and another Mulayam confidant Amar Singh, was also expelled from the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council.
Amar Singh, a businessman-turned-politician, was sacked from the party in 2010 along with Jaya Prada. He returned to the Mulayam fold last year.
Legislators who attended a morning meeting with the Chief Minister said Akhilesh Yadav made it clear that anyone close to Amar Singh cannot find a place in his government.
Hours later, the Samajwadi Party expelled national General Secretary and spokesman Ram Gopal, an unabashed Akhilesh supporter and Mulayam’s cousin, for six years from all party posts.
“He met a senior BJP leader thrice and is trying to save his son Akshay and daughter-in-law from the CBI,” Shivpal Yadav said, linking the two family members with a tainted chief engineer of Noida Authority. Ram Gopal denied the charge and said he continued to stand by Akhilesh Yadav.
Ram Gopal, now in Mumbai, triggered a controversy earlier on Sunday when he wrote a letter to party leaders saying only Akhilesh Yadav can lead the party to victory in the assembly poll.
Akhilesh Yadav, 43, describing himself as the political successor to his father Mulayam Singh, dismissed speculations that he wanted to split the Samajwadi Party which, he said, belonged to “Netaji” – as Mulayam Singh is widely known.
The Chief Minister also said he would attend the party’s Silver Jubilee function on November 5th.