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SP infighting: In troubled waters of UP, Akhilesh can stay afloat with Cong help

YadavFamilyFeud Updated: Dec 31, 2016 00:58 IST
HT Correspondent
Samajwadi Party

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav leaves his official residence on 5 Kalidas Marg in Lucknow on December 30, 2016, hours after being expelled from the Samajwadi Party by his father and party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.(PTI Photo)

Expelled by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav from the Samajwadi Party for six years on Friday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav may have a lifeboat in the Congress.

If Akhilesh needs to prove his strength on the floor of the UP assembly, the 28 members of the Congress would come in handy. According to insiders, Akhilesh has 175 loyal MPs in the 403-member House and would need the support of 27 more to stay afloat.

Incidentally, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had described Akhilesh as a good man a few months ago.

Read | Rahul, Akhilesh mutual admiration may give way to Congress-SP alliance

Akhilesh has apparently faced action following rebellion against his father on a number of issues, including ticket distribution for the polls due early next year and alliance with the Congress.

Amid the contradictory stands of Mulayam and Akhilesh on forging an alliance with the Congress, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said the possibility could not be ruled out.

“You cannot rule out any possibility in politics,” Azad, in charge of Congress in UP, told reporters in Balrampur on the sidelines of a rally, PTI reported.

Read | UP CM Akhilesh expelled: With his final play, Mulayam Singh squanders his legacy

The Congress also steered clear of the “internal matters” of the SP’s first family. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, however, added there was a need for political stability in the state. “There is a situation of political instability. It has to go. The Congress doesn’t want to comment on this. Rahul Gandhi had given a new paradigm shift to the issues of development in UP. And we are confident we will win over people’s support in UP.”

The BJP’s reaction was sharp. “After the new development, Akhilesh Yadav must immediately resign,” senior BJP leader Yogi Adityanath said.

Zafar Islam, spokesperson of UP BJP, saw the expulsion as a diversionary tactic of the SP. “For nearly five years, the SP government didn’t do anything. This is an engineered ploy to remove people’s attention from the main issues and failure of the government.”

Senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav, who was also expelled for six years along with Akhilesh, clarified that the CM would not resign. “Why should he resign? He has overwhelming majority in the House.”

Read | As Yadav family feud erupts again, only a miracle can help SP win Uttar Pradesh