Yadav Sr Vs Yadav Jr Vs Yadav Uncles: A Recap Of The Play 

by Atul Chandra - Dec 31, 2016 06:42 PM +05:30 IST
Yadav Sr Vs Yadav Jr Vs Yadav Uncles: A Recap Of The Play (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)
  • The turns, u-turns and flips that have happened since September to make Akhilesh Yadav “emerge” as a strong leader, summarised for you in one article.

Less than 24 hours after being expelled from the Samajwadi Party for six years, Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday revoked his decision against chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and cousin Ram Gopal Yadav.

The New Year may not bring happy tidings for Shivpal, a co-conspirator against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. In a harbinger of things to come, Shivpal’s name was found to have been removed from the Samajwadi Party’s website.

At a hurriedly called press conference, party’s state president Shivpal Yadav said that on the instructions of Netaji (Mulayam) the expulsion of both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal had been revoked. With a touch of déjà vu, he added that the feud in the family was over and all was now well.

“We all will sit together and decide on the names of contestants afresh,” said a subdued Shivpal.

Asked about Sunday’s meeting of party’s national delegates, Shivpal said that no meeting would now be held.

His bubble was pricked soon after by Akhilesh who said that the meeting would go ahead as scheduled, though at a different venue.

After showing his strength with 202 MLAs and 34 MLCs marking their presence at chief minister’s official residence, speculations were that either Mulayam or Shivpal or both would lose their respective posts of national and state president.

In contrast to the near full-strength presence of legislators at Akhilesh’s residence, the emergency meeting of Samajwadi Party’s parliamentary board saw an abysmally low turnout---14 legislators and about 60 candidates who were given tickets by Shivpal. Notable absentee from Shivpal’s meeting was the party’s founder member Azam Khan who accompanied Akhilesh to Mulayam’s residence instead.

To queer the pitch for Akhilesh, Shivpal had convened the meeting at 10.30 a.m. as the CM was holding his meeting around the same time but the strategy backfired.

Akhilesh had gone to meet Mulayam armed with the signatures of 202 MLAs and 34 MLCs. Azam Khan, who played the mediator, made Akhilesh touch Mulayam’s feet. The chief minister was quoted as saying that he had separated from the party but not his father.

Mulayam is learnt to have told Akhilesh, whom he had expelled for indiscipline, that he was not against him.

Akhilesh then asked to be reinstated as the state president, a bone of contention between him and Shivpal and withdrawal of Ram Gopal Yadav’s expulsion order. He also repeated his demand that ‘outsider’ Amar Singh be removed from the party and the Rajya Sabha.

While Mulayam accepted two of his demands, his appointment as state party president was yet to be announced. It was also not known if Mulayam planned to sack Amar Singh from the party.

In September, Mulayam had abruptly sacked Akhilesh as party president and appointed Shivpal in his place. Akhilesh had hit back by dismissing Shivpal and a few others from his ministry. That had set off a struggle to control the party at the time of elections.

The struggle reached a flash point on October 25 when at a meeting of party legislators Shivpal snatched the mike from Akhilesh and called him a liar.

In a replay of events in the Samajwadi Party two months ago, Mulayam Singh Yadav brokered peace between his brother and son by making them hug each other. A similar patch up drama earlier had not worked and both Akhilesh and Shivpal had expelled each others’ loyalists, one from the party and the other from the ministry.

In August this year Shivpal had threatened to resign from the party. Mulayam Singh Yadav had then warned Akhilesh that if Shivpal, who was then the Minister for PWD and Irrigation, left the Samajwadi Party would break.

Five months later Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav proved him wrong when he showed up at his residence with the support of 202 legislators. With this show of strength he had proved that the party and the legislators were behind him and not Shivpal.

Besides Amar Singh, the conflict between Shivpal and his nephew Akhilesh was mainly over who should distribute tickets for the coming assembly elections. The chief minister had defied Mulayam and Shivpal and released a list of 167 candidates of his choice. This was viewed as an act of indiscipline by the duo who had already released a list of 325 candidates. A show cause notice was issued to Akhilesh.

Saturday’s show of strength was a sequel to his expulsion.

For someone who, until a year ago, was being dubbed as a thumb-sucking half chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, it was coming of age of Akhilesh.

To prove that it is he who now calls the shots, Ram Gopal and Akhilesh were pressing ahead with the proposed meeting of national delegates despite Mulayam calling it illegal and warning delegates against attending it.

Atul Chandra is former Resident Editor, The Times of India, Lucknow. He has written extensively on politics in Uttar Pradesh.

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