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Yadav family feud: Amar Singh survives at Ramgopal’s expense

When the time came to pick his favourite, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav chose Amar Singh, his “brother” who stood by him steadfastly during troubled times.

YadavFamilyFeud Updated: Oct 25, 2016 00:45 IST
Supporters of Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav raise slogans at the party office where he was attending a meeting with party legislators along with SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and party state  president Shivpal Yadav, in Lucknow.
Supporters of Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav raise slogans at the party office where he was attending a meeting with party legislators along with SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and party state president Shivpal Yadav, in Lucknow.(PTI Photo)

When the time came to pick his favourite, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav chose Amar Singh, his “brother” who stood by him steadfastly during troubled times.

That means, blood cousin Ramgopal Yadav — a staunch supporter of Mulayam’s son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav — has to pay the price.

Amar and Ramgopal are the two prominent faces of the party in Delhi’s power corridor, and are also at the centre of the latest Yadav family fireworks. They represent the two warring sides in the Yadav clan.

Amar’s stocks have risen steadily since the Yadav power struggle came out in the open last weekend, after he secured a toehold in the party that he had to leave in 2010 when he fell out with none other than Mulayam.

He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha — 20 years after he represented the party in the Upper House — and recently re-appointed party general secretary. Akhilesh objected, but father Mulayam overruled.

He is now likely to become the party’s face in the national capital at the cost of Ramgopal, the Rajya Sabha parliamentarian and a former physics professor who was considered No 2 in the party and its chief strategist till a fortnight ago.

Ramgopal has been accused of hobnobbing with the BJP, the ruling party’s main rival in state elections due next year.

His parliamentarian-son, Akshaya Yadav, dismissed the charge while Akhilesh defended Ramgopal in the family feud.

But Mulayam would have nothing of him, and he hinted as much when he insinuated Ramgopal’s alleged meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah.

Read| No happy ending: SP in a spot over Yadav feud as tit-for-tat sackings continue

Amar is with Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam’s brother and state party chief, and they are up against Akhilesh, whom they accuse of sidelining them. Amar reportedly lost the party posts at Akhilesh’s behest in 2010.

Party insiders say it is payback time for Amar — target Ramgopal, who became the party’s chief strategist in his absence after propelling Akhilesh to the chief minister’s post.

He now has Mulayam’s support. The SP chief called him a “brother” on Monday, a day after party workers stomped on his picture and burnt his effigy in some districts, including Lucknow and Agra, blaming him for party’s troubles.

“There were two people who stayed glued to me during my times of crisis, one is Janeshwar Mishra, who is no more, and the other is Amar,” Mulayam reaffirmed his choice.

Amar joined the SP in 1996 when the party was trying to create an identity nationally. The party was also, reportedly, starved of funds.

The presence of Amar, known for his trouble-shooting skills in political and business circles, came handy.

Eventually, Amar’s entry into the party coincided with Mulayam becoming the defence minister in the United Front government.

He also played a key role in the SP’s support to Congress-led UPA governments.

After him, many believe Ramgopal as chief strategist in Delhi has not been very fruitful for the party.

They say the party has been isolated at the national level, a probable reason why Mulayam is willing to sacrifice a cousin for a “brother”.

For full coverage on Yadav family feud, click here