Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party might be embroiled in a bruising fight for control but Samajwadi Party leaders are busy playing musical chairs over nameplates at the party’s headquarters and official residences.
With just a month to go before assembly polls, the two warring factions – one led by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and the other by his uncle Shivpal Yadav – are camping before the election commission with little chance of reconciliation.
It all began on October 23, when Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, a key Akhilesh aide. Two days later, supporters of Shivpal removed Ramgopal’s nameplate from the SP’s national headquarters in Delhi.
Ramgopal’s nameplate reappeared after a month when Mulayam revoked the expulsion. Now, after his third removal from the party in two months, Ramgopal’s nameplate has vanished once again.
Similar has been the case with Shivpal’s nameplate.
On October 26, three days after Akhilesh sacked Shivpal from his cabinet, the nameplate at his official residence, mentioning Shivpal Yadav as a minister, was replaced with one bearing only the leader’s name.
Within two hours, Shivpal’s staff restored the original ‘minister nameplate’ when Akhilesh went to meet governor Ram Naik.
Shivpal’s supporters and employees anticipated that the CM might re-induct Shivpal. Three days later, when Akhilesh did not announce his uncle’s re-induction, Shivpal moved out of the house, removing all his nameplates.
On January 1, when an extraordinary emergency special session of the party, summoned by Ramgopal, sacked Shivpal from the post of state president, Akhilesh’s supporters took only a few minutes to storm the state unit office of the party and remove Shivpal’s nameplate.
As the takeover of the office was not absolute, some supporters of Shivpal found the old nameplate of ‘Shivpal Yadav, the minister’ and put it again at his office, despite the fact that Shivpal had ceased to be a minister for over two months.
The nameplate of Naresh Uttam, the new SP state president named by Akhilesh, was not ready then. But now it is.
On Saturday, the nameplate mentioning Naresh Uttam as SP state president came up at the state headquarters of the party.
The office has seen three different state presidents – Akhilesh Yadav ceased to be the SP state president on September 14 and was replaced by Shivpal. Now, Naresh Uttam holds the office.
Only one nameplate that has not changed is that of national president Mulayam Singh Yadav, despite the fact that Mulayam is not the national president of Akhilesh faction of SP that controls the party offices now.
For full coverage on Yadav Family Feud, click here