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SP chief Mulayam asks loyalists to keep an eye on Ramgopal supporters

YadavFamilyFeud Updated: Oct 23, 2016 22:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav waves to his party workers as he comes out after a meeting at his residence in Lucknow on Sunday.(PTI)

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday evening directed party leaders to keep an eye on the activities of the supporters of expelled party national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav.

He also indicated that the leaders who dissented against the party leadership would be shown the door.

The SP patriarch, who held a meeting with senior leaders at his 5-Vikramaditya Marg residence, remained tight-lipped about the feud in the party.

“I will speak tomorrow (Monday),” he told journalists after emerging from the meeting.

Soon after SP state president Shivpal Singh Yadav announced the expulsion of Ramgopal, a meeting of senior party leaders was held under Mulayam’s chairmanship.

Fearing that Ramgopal might try to throw a spanner in the crucial Monday meeting, Mulayam directed the party leaders to keep tabs on the activities of the MLAs and leaders loyal to Ramgopal.

Read | SP split wide open: Akhilesh sacks Shivpal, Mulayam removes Ramgopal

Both sitting and former MLAs, MLCs and MPs have been invited to the meeting.

“By expelling Ramgopal, Netaji (Mulayam) has warned that he will not tolerate dissension. The leaders who wish to continue in the party will have to fall in line,” said a senior leader.

The MLAs who attended a meeting chaired by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in the morning were told to sign a register before entering the meeting hall.

“The signatures might be used as a show of strength by the Akhilesh group if the rift widens,” said a senior leader who did not wish to be named.

In the hour-long meeting, Shivpal assured Mulayam that a majority of the MLAs and MLCs have given their consent to attending the meeting and have expressed their loyalty to his leadership. Sources said Mulayam also spoke to Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh on the phone.

“The alliance between the SP-RLD would be discussed after the Monday’s meeting,” the SP leader said.

The expelled ministers — Om Prakash Singh, Sadab Fatima and Narad Rai — and party spokesperson Ashok Bajpai also met Mulayam. Transport minister Gayatri Prajapati, who has been made chairman of the party silver jubilee celebration, was also in attendance.

Read | Yadav family feud: Who are the 4 ministers sacked by CM Akhilesh

“He will gear up the party leaders for the assembly election in the Monday meeting,” Shivpal told journalists.

The party’s national vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda and senior leaders Beni Prasad Verma, Naresh Agarwal and Reoti Raman Singh too met Mulayam and discussed the strategy for the forthcoming meeting.

Meanwhile, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, along with ministers Rajendra Chaudhary and Arvind Singh Gope, remained at the CM’s 5 Kalidas residence, where they met party leaders.

Later, Kiranmoy Nanda, Beni Prasad Verma and Reoti Raman Singh met Akhilesh, requesting him to attend the meeting on Monday.

A letter written by Ramgopal to Mulayam was also discussed at the meeting. In the letter, the expelled leader urged SP leaders and workers to rally behind Akhilesh and refuted the allegation made against him by Shivpal.

“All the MLAs and leaders will express faith in the leadership of Mulayam Singh Yadav at Monday’s meeting,” said a senior leader.

HT analysis | Yadav family feud: Damage irreversible, now SP govt at stake