The war in Uttar Pradesh’s first family seems to be far from over, with Samajawadi Party’s state unit head Shivpal Yadav on Monday asserting himself against Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav by expelling seven party functionaries, including three MLCs, considered close to him.
Protesting against the tough action, a number of youth office bearers of the party’s front wings spontaneously resigned, claiming that "Akhilesh" is their "undisputed" leader.
Sunil Singh Sajan, Anand Bhadauria and Sanjay Lathar — all MLCs — were shown the door by Shivpal for making "derogatory remarks" against party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, indulging in anti-party activities and indiscipline.
Besides the MLCs, state chief of SP youth brigade Mohd Ebad, state president of SP yuvjan sabha Brijesh Yadav, national president of SP youth brigade Gaurav Dubey, and state chief of chatra sabha Digvijay Singh Dev were sacked from the party on similar grounds by Shivpal.
The pro-Akhilesh camp protested against this development which came only two days after a compromise worked out by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav between Shivpal and the Chief Minister, who have been engaged in a turf war.
As per the compromise, Akhilesh restored all but one key portfolios of Shivpal and accepted him as state unit president, a post from which he himself had been removed.
"Akhilesh ji is our undisputed leader. We joined politics under his leadership. We did not indulge in indiscipline. We are even ready to give our life from him," an angry Brijesh said.
Digvijay aired similar sentiments, saying they believe in the policies of Netaji (Mulayam) and will continue to work for Samajwadi Party. "We only apprised Netaji of our views in favour of Akhilesh," he said.
High drama unfolded in the VVIP Guest House area where two youths of SP chatra sabha climbed atop a TV transmission tower to protest the mass sacking.
Protests against the decision were reported from some districts as well.
After taking the decision, Shivpal visited CM’s residence and both the leaders had closed door talks.
A meeting of legislators and party district presidents has been called by Shivpal tomorrow to discuss the party’s strategy for the Assembly elections due early next year.
Meanwhile, Shivpal, while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme, gave a tough message to party cadres saying, "Strict action will be taken against all those who indulge in indiscipline."