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Patch up on cards, Akhilesh returns uncle’s portfolios


Patch up in the Yadav family appeared to be on the cards with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announcing on Friday night that his disgruntled uncle Shivpal Yadav will be given back his portfolios and Gayatri Prajapati will be reinducted as Cabinet minister, issues which had triggered an all-out war.

The announcements were made as per the compromise formula worked out by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who asserted that "There can be no division in the party, till I am there." 

The signs of patch up came after Mulayam held discussions with brother Shivpal and son Akhilesh.

"Portfolios will be given back to Mr. Shivpal Singh Yadav," Akhilesh tweeted about his uncle who was stripped of his key ministries only two days back by the Chief Minister, triggering all out war during which Akhilesh was removed as party’s state unit chief.

In another tweet, the CM said, "Gayatri Prajapati will be inducted in the cabinet." 

According to party insiders, Prajapati, who was sacked as Mines Minister, could be accommodated in the Cabinet but with a different portfolio.

Setting in motion the reconciliation process, Mulayam as well as Akhilesh earlier rejected Shivpal’s resignation from the Cabinet as well as the head of state party unit, to which he was appointed two days ago replacing Akhilesh.

Shivpal had resigned last night as a minister and as state party unit head.

"Netaji (Mulayam) has heard all of us. He will talk to to some others if he wants and will take decision by tomorrow," Shivpal said today, indicating a truce was on the anvil.

Akhilesh said at a function that he has rejected the resignation of Shivpal and he will comply with whatever his father directs.

"Netaji (Mulayam) will find a solution (to the current crisis) and everyone will accept it," he said.

Shivpal said he continues as UP party chief and is preparing for electoral challenge ahead but was evasive whether he will go back to the government.

"That (resignation from party post) has not been accepted. When I have said that for me, Netaji’s hint is an order…Akhilesh has also said so. So where is the feud anymore," he said.

At the same time, he indicated that he may not return to the government. "Look, I have resigned only recently. I have got a bigger responsibility. Elections are near and I have to work for the polls. Who is bothered about portfolios? I had only one portfolio, so I said why only one. I will work for the party." 

Earlier this morning, Mulayam also broke his silence over the five-day no holds barred family war, saying, "There can be no division in the party, till I am there." 

The party supremo, who rushed here last evening from Delhi to douse the raging flames of feud, said, "We have a big family, differences may occur…There is no fight between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh."

He has met Shivpal and Akhilesh separately and then together to ensure that the crisis was resolved.

Mulayam said Akhilesh will not defy his words and announced that Prajapati will be taken back in the UP Cabinet, considered a bone of contention between Shivpal and Akhilesh.

Akhilesh, on his part, said, "I have two duties, as Chief Minister and as son. I will honour the word of the party president and I will do everything to make my father happy." 

At India TV’s ‘Chunav Manch’ conclave here, he said, "I felt bad and you saw its effect. I’m coming here after a discussion with Netaji (Mulayam). Samajwadi Party is a family and there are no differences in the party." 

He rubbished reports that he is behind the feud in the family saying, "It’s a fight for the chair. If a good person asks for the CM’s post, I am ready to give it up.

"It’s election time. We should all come together and work. There is no fight between Ramgopal Yadav, Akhilesh and Shivpal." 

Making it clear that he wanted a say in the distribution of tickets in the upcoming state elections, Akhilesh said, "I say I will give back everything but then I will say I should have the authority to distribute tickets. It will be my ‘pariskha’ (test) in elections." 

Apparently attacking SP Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh for fuelling feud in the family, he said, "Everyone understands who is this outsider, even you know that. I have told Netaji that if an outsider comes between us, he will be thrown out." 

"Netaji and I have decided that we will not let outsiders drive a wedge between us," he said.

Shivpal defended ‘outsider’ Amar Singh while advising Akhilesh Yadav not to develop an ego and to "gain more experience".

"Anyone sitting on the chair of the Chief Minster should not develop an ego. I have seen many Chief Ministers. Akhilesh needs to gain experience. He should learn from Netaji (SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav) and me as well," Shivpal said.

Defending Amar Singh, he said, "His name should not have been taken. He can never cause any harm to our family. No decision in the party is taken without Netaji’s consent. Need to tactfully deal with outsiders, if any, and one should apply his mind." 

On Akhilesh’s demand for more say in ticket distribution, he said, "Netaji will decide on ticket distribution. How elections are fought are perogative of the party chief. Netaji will allocate responsibilities."