As brother Shivpal threatens to quit, SP chief Mulayam ticks off son Akhilesh
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav backed his brother Shivpal on Monday in a growing feud within Uttar Pradesh’s ruling family, and made a veiled attack on his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav for allegedly humiliating his sibling.
Mulayam’s rap came a day after Shivpal Singh Yadav, a senior minister in the Akhilesh government, threatened to quit over allegations of land grab by some party leaders and ministers.
“While he (Shivpal) is busy doing his job honestly and efficiently, a conspiracy is afoot against him and responsible people in the government are humiliating him,” Mulayam said during a function at the party headquarters to mark the Independence Day.
“But if Shivpal quits, the party will go to winds,” Mulayam said in the clearest indication yet that he will go with Shivpal in case of a split in the party --- which most believe is unlikely with assembly polls due early next year.
Sources pointed out that Shivpal’s threat was only about quitting his post, but Mulayam’s tough talks were apparently aimed at sending out a message to Akhilesh and others in the government to stop needling Shivpal.
Mulayam also said Shivpal, the SP’s in-charge in the state, had offered to quit twice in the past but backtracked on his insistence.
Akhilesh, who was present during the function, initially tried to smile away Mulayam’s jab but was visibly embarrassed when the attack became more direct. Akhilesh, however, did not speak at the function on the controversy over his uncle.
On Sunday, Shivpal said in Mainpuri that party leaders engaged in land and plot grabbing activities while officers just did not listen to him.
“I will be left with no other option but resign if things continue like this,” he warned.
Akhilesh had earlier refused to merge a party floated by jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari with the SP, a proposal floated by Shivpal. Akhilesh had put his foot down saying “we don’t want such people in the party.”
Shivpal is considered Mulayam’s right-hand man who helped expand and strengthen the party in the state in its early years.
Within hours of Mulayam’s backing, Shivpal spoke in Etawah and reiterated his threat.
“I will submit a list of corrupt ministers and officers to the chief minister and if action is not taken against them, I will resign from the government,” he said.
The opposition, on the other hand, asked Maulayam to take action instead of reiterating the same things again and again.
“Why does not Mulayam Singh take action against party workers and ministers who he knows are engaged in illegal activities,” BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.
Mulayam was only trying to save his CM son by trying to throw his weight around his younger brother, Pathak added.