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UP politics in the eye of a storm: Power centres in Yadav family

YadavFamilyFeud Updated: Sep 15, 2016 18:52 IST
Sunita Aron
Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.(PTI Photo)

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav took away three key ministerial portfolios from his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav leading to speculations that Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party was facing an internal feud ahead of next year’s assembly elections.

Akhilesh’s move on Tuesday came within hours after his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav appointed Shivpal as the party’s state president replacing his chief minister son.

Shivpal’s appointment as the state party chief was being seen as Mulayam’s way of striking a balance between his son and his brother ahead of the elections. The SP is expected to face a tough fight from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the resurgent Bahujan Samaj Party led by Mayawati.

Here is how the members of the ruling family stand in the balance of power:

Mulayam Singh Yadav

Mulayam has always had the last word in the party that he created. However, torn between his son Akhilesh and brother Shivpal, he tried and tested the fine act of balancing and managed differences in the family till Tuesday night.

Shivpal cannot go against his wish but of late he has been flexing muscles.

Shivpal Singh Yadav

He is supposed to have control over party’s rank and file and involved in poll preparedness. He has the support of Amar Singh, who recently rejoined the party and he is doing his politics through him.

The two together prevailed over Mulayam to appoint controversial bureaucrat Deepak Singhal as the state chief secretary against the wishes of CM who sat over the file for days.

His wife Sarla Yadav is actively involved in diffusing the current crisis as she has done in the past.

Akhilesh Yadav

He has the full support of Ram Gopal Yadav and majority of younger members in the family. However, his elevation created a generational divide in the party with seniors not approving his style of functioning. There are ego issues.

However, he has the support of two Mulayam’s loyalists Azam Khan and Beni Prasad Verma, ever since Amar Singh joined hands with Shivpal.

Contentious issues

1. The hidden one is over ticket distribution

2. Shivpal wants Mulayam to replace Akhilesh as the CM

3. Akhilesh’s refusal to merge Qaumi Ekta Dal floated by jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari with the SP, a proposal floated by Shivpal.

4. The sacking of mining minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati on charges of corruption. A case on mining scams is being heard in the high court, CBI likely to give a preliminary report in the first week of October.

5. Removal of Deepak Singhal, known to be close to Shivpal, and appointment of Rahul Bhatnagar as the new CS.

6. Mulayam’s decision to appoint Shivpal as state president and Akhilesh retaliating by divesting Shivpal of key portfolios.