SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav on Friday blamed state president Shivpal Yadav for the prevailing confusion in the ruling party as he endorsed the list of candidates released by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for next year’s assembly polls.
Ramgopal said Samajwadi Party’s national president Mulayam Singh Yadav had called for a meeting on January 1 but the list of candidates was released on December 29, indicating Akhilesh was not taken into confidence or consulted before the decision was made.
“No compromise is possible now. The candidates announced by the CM are my candidates,” Ramgopal, who is member-secretary of SP’s parliamentary board, said.
“Those opposing Akhilesh Yadav will not see the assembly building after the elections; I will campaign for CM’s candidates,” he said.
Ramgopal was in Farrukhabad to meet Vijay Singh who figures in the list of CM’s candidate and lost his father recently.
In an apparent attempt to deliver a body blow to the chief minister’s camp, Shivpal had released the second list of 68 candidates late on Thursday minutes after Akhilesh’s parallel list of 235 seats was out.
The miffed CM came out with his own candidates’ list late on Thursday, triggering speculation of a split in the party besieged by a bitter family feud.
The move is being seen as a tit-for-tat response from the 43-year-old son to party patriarch Mulayam, who declared candidates for 325 of the 403 assembly seats on Wednesday and ruled out projecting Akhilesh as the candidate for the chief minister’s post.
The state’s youngest chief minister has been engaged in an intense power struggle with the ruling family’s elders, especially uncle Shivpal, who enjoys the backing of his brother Mulayam.
Ramgopal, Mulayam’s first cousin who backs Akhilesh, was expelled for six years on October 23 for alleged anti-party activities as the family feud began.
While announcing his expulsion, Shivpal had alleged that Ramgopal was conspiring with the BJP to weaken the Samajwadi party and tarnish the state government’s image.
“One man, all of you know who he is, coaxed Netaji into removing Akhilesh Yadav as the state president, this is where the problem began, otherwise everything was fine in the party,” he said without naming Shivpal.
“This man is not an outsider but from the party, he can’t get 10 votes for anyone,” he said.
Asked if the candidates in the CM’s list would contest as Independents, he said the Election Commission would take the call on the issue. “But don’t worry the picture will be clear in next two-four days,” he said.