The fissures within Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party grew deeper with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav sacking four ministers, and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav retaliating by removing national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav.
Sunday’s surprise decisions indicate a hardening of stands by both camps within the Yadav family — the new and young wing of the party led by Akhilesh and the old guard represented by Shivpal and backed by Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh.
Here are short profiles of the four sacked ministers:
Shivpal Yadav is the Samajwadi Party’s UP president, a post he took over from Akhilesh, triggering the power tussle in the Yadav family. He is also very close to his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav and considered No 2 in the government after CM Akhilesh. He held several portfolios such as irrigation and cooperatives, but was removed by the CM last month when he was made the state party chief. His was subsequently reinstated to his portfolios, with the exception of the public works department.
Minister for science and technology Narad Rai is a legislator from Ballia. He did his Master of Arts (MA) from MM Town Post Graduate College in the same town before completing his PhD from Gorakhpur University. Rai was a known firebrand leader in student politics and was president of the student union in 1979. After graduation, he became active in socialist politics under the leadership of Janeshwar Mishra. He was elected four times to the Lok Sabha, and nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 1994 and 2000. May 2002 onwards, he was member of the Committee on Subordinate Legislation. Rai was elected as an MLA from the Ballia assembly seat in 2002, and was the urban development state minister in the Uttar Pradesh government from October 2003 to May 2007.
Om Prakash Singh
Tourism minister Om Prakash Singh, 52, is a veteran politician and presently represents the Zamania assembly constituency in Ghazipur, from where he was also elected a Member of Parliament at one point. Singh, who has a number of criminal cases against hin, also was a minister in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cabinet in UP.
Shadab Fatima was elected MLA from Zahoorabad in Ghazipur. An alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University, Fatima is the only Muslim woman minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government. She was recently in the news because of her son’s involvement in a hit-and-run case.