Yadav family feud before 2017 UP Assembly elections

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mulayam shivpal by vijay pandey1
The gulf within the family has widened. (Photo: Vijay Pandey/Tehelka)

Shivpal Yadav, 61, said he would abide by whatever decision Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav takes, amid talks of his resignation from the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Cabinet.

He was on September 13 divested of portfolios such as PWD, irrigation, revenue and cooperative departments and was given the less important social welfare portfolio. The chief minister kept the important PWD portfolio with himself.

When asked pointedly whether he would resign as a state minister, Shivpal said that he will decide after talking to Netaji (Mulayam) and will fulfill all responsibilities. At his native village Saifai, he also said that “giving or taking portfolios was strictly the realm of the CM. I will continue my own work in the SP organization. NO one can dare to go against what Netaji  says.” This was clearly directed at Akhilesh.

According to reports, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has apparently called a patch-up meeting between his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav in Delhi on September 14.

Akhilesh Yadav, in haste to reach Delhi, cancelled all his appointments for the day even as the war with his uncle has brought him in a face-off with his father.

Earlier, the CM had removed Deepak Singhal, a known Shivpal associate, from the post of the state’s Chief Secretary. On September 12, he sacked two ministers—Gayatri Prajapati and Rajkishore Singh and the next day, he openly defied his father by removing Shivpal, who is considered the favourite brother of Netaji.

An infuriated Mulayam sacked Akhilesh as the state party chief and installed Shivpal instead. The gulf within the family widened to such an extent, it is speculated that the CM may meet the UP governor and ask for the dissolution of the UP Assembly.

Meanwhile, the party patriarch is faced with the arduous task of restoring order within the SP. On the one hand, he has to appease his son and younger brother and on the other and settle ruffled feathers in the party as the chaos has potential to unsettle the SP’s campaign in 2017.