Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav has appointed his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav the incharge of the organisation’s UP unit headed by Akhilesh Yadav. This is the first time that the party has made such an appointment at the national or the state level. The move reflects what the ‘parivaar’ was considering doing ever since the 2014 Lok Sabha election debacle.
Soon after that defeat, the party had thought about letting chief minister Akhilesh Yadav focus on the government and making someone else the state president. Though the decision is far from divesting Akhilesh Yadav of powers that the party constitution vests in him as the state president, it clearly makes Shivpal Yadav the incharge of the 2017 elections.
The appointment only formalises what Shivpal Yadav was already doing. It was Shivpal Yadav who had announced the party’s first list of 142 candidates for the 2017 assembly elections. Neither Mulayam nor Akhilesh were at the announcement of the first list, always considered ‘very important’ for the party.
“These are all family matters in the party where only four family members take all the important decisions. The decision looks like a division of labour in the family. Shivpal Yadav is taking centre stage in the 2017 elections.
The post he has been given is not a constitutional position in the party. The constitutional powers vests in the state president,” says a senior SP leader. The party issued only a one-line statement late on Monday evening, saying: “The national president Mulayam Singh Yadav today has appointed the chief spokesperson of the party Shivpal Singh Yadav as the UPSamajwadi Party incharge”.
CP Rai, a senior Samajwadi Party leader and one of the founder members of the organisation, said: “Netaji always makes calculated decisions. Shivpal Yadav is a senior party leader. The party has won many an elections under him. He is an experienced man who has held posts like general secretary or the state president.”
Shivpal Yadav is considered the chief architect of Samajwadi Party’s superlative show in the recent panchayat polls.