After sacking four members, including his uncle Shivpal Yadav, from the state cabinet, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav ruled out on Sunday any move to split the Samajwadi Party.
The 43-year-old chief minister reportedly became emotional when he told his supporters that he would also be attending a meeting called on Monday by his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“Netaji is not only the leader of the party but also my father and I will always be with him,” he said.
Akhilesh, however, openly targeted Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh for the first time, accusing him of trying to break his family as well as the Samajwadi Party.
Legislators who attended the meeting said Akhilesh accused Amar Singh of acting at the behest of the BJP.
“Who so ever goes with him (Amar Singh), goes out of the party,” Ahkilesh said.
“Anybody who is close to Amar Singh or bats for him cannot be in my cabinet,” he told the legislators gathered at his official residence while justifying his decision to sack Shivpal and three other ministers.
The sacked ministers are known to be ardent supporters of Shivpal, who is also the state Samajwadi Party chief and known to be close to Mulayam.
Soon after he was shown the door, a second time in a little over a month, Shivpal dumped his government vehicle and started using his private car, an official said.
Shivpal then went to meet his elder brother, Mulayam.
Shivpal is reported to be very livid over his sacking and has told Mulayam Singh that the “immaturity and arrogance” of Akhilesh cannot be tolerated any longer.
This is the second time in a month that Shivpal has been sacked by his nephew.
On the first occasion, he was shown the door on September 13 but was taken back after the party chief asked Akhilesh to revoke his decision.
Akhilesh, however, retained the PWD portfolio that Shivpal held earlier.
Soon after the four ministers were sacked on Sunday, senior party leaders rushed to meet both Mulayam and Akhilesh.
Independent MLA and controversial minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya met the chief minister and later told reporters that people will have to accept the decision of Akhilesh Yadav.
He also urged party leaders and workers to refrain from making public comments against anyone.
In a related development, Transport Minister Gayatri Prajapati, known to be another bone of contention between the two camps, met Akhilesh Yadav twice in two hours.
A source told a news agency that Mulayam Singh was cut up with his cousin and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, who in a letter on Sunday morning stoked the fire in the family even further.
In his hand-written letter, timed 6am. and datelined Mumbai, Ram Gopal Yadav has urged party workers to support Akhilesh Yadav as he was the one who would lead them to victory.
“Jahan Akhilesh hai, wahan vijay hai,” he wrote.
Those who are opposing the chief minister were greedy, corrupt and characterless people and they would not even be able to see the Vidhan Sabha again, he wrote.
This is being seen as an attack on Mulayam and Shivpal.
Meanwhile, the family feud within the Samajwadi Party deepened with Mulayam removing his brother Ramgopal from the party on allegations of colluding with the BJP, just hours after Akhilesh sacked his uncle Shivpal.