Once regarded as Samajwadi Party’s (SP) face who gave the fold’s official word to the media, Ramgopal Yadav’s political future appears bleak as he could now be removed from the post of SP’s parliamentary leader in the Rajya Sabha.
Facing an uncertain future, the expelled 70-year-old leader put up a brave face and maintained a defiant posture on Tuesday. His nameplate has been removed from SP’s New Delhi office and party circles are rife with speculation that Beni Prasad Verma will replace Ramgopal as the parliamentary party leader in the Upper House.
A section of party members hold Ramgopal responsible for instigating Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to take a stand against uncle Shivpal Yadav and party leader Amar Singh. Convinced that Akhilesh will emerge as the predominant leader after next year’s state polls, Ramgopal has reportedly decided to wait for the crisis to play out.
Ramgopal indicated on Tuesday that he will not give up his Rajya Sabha membership in a hurry. “Now I am a free man. The party whip will not apply to me”, he told the media.
While refraining from a taking a direct dig at SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the ousted leader kept his gun trained on Shivpal and Amar Singh. “In the eyes of the masses, both Shivpal and Amar are culprits”, he said, while adding that Mulayam’s support for the two had sent out a “wrong message”.