Yadav family feud: Mulayam slaps showcause notices on Akhilesh, Ramgopal
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav slapped on Friday two separate showcause notices on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav over alleged indiscipline.
Mulayam’s move came a day after Akhilesh, his son, finalised a list of 235 candidates for the upcoming assembly polls in defiance with the party, which had announced its own picks and snubbed some leaders considered close to the CM.
Mulayam took strong exception to Akhilesh’s parallel list and certain remarks made in public by Ramgopal, sources said.
“Why shouldn’t disciplinary action be initiated against you,” asked the notice sent to Akhilesh, and reminded him that the party had already announced its nominees for 325 of the 403 seats in the state.
Akhilesh’s Thursday move, which triggered speculation of a split in the party besieged by a bitter family feud, came a day after Mulayam made public the SP’s official list and ruled out projecting his son as the candidate for the chief minister’s post.
Hours after Akhilesh’s move, SP state unit president Shivpal Yadav released the party’s second list of 68 candidates.
The state’s youngest chief minister has been engaged in an intense power struggle with the ruling family’s elders, especially uncle Shivpal, who enjoys the backing of his brother Mulayam.
With SP staring at a possible split, Mulayam also called a meeting on Saturday of all those allotted tickets by him, even as the CM’s camp remained adamant on contesting against the official candidates of the party.
Party insiders see the meeting with immense significance as the SP chief was likely gauge the sentiments of the candidates and conduct a fresh review of the list amid fears that the battle for control in SP left the party cadres divided and highly confused at grassroots level.
On Friday morning, Shivpal met Mulayam for nearly an hour, but it was not immediately known what transpired at the meeting. Shivpal did not answer questions of reporters waiting outside Mulayam’s residence.
Mulayam’s cousin, Ramgopal Yadav, who is a vocal supporter of Akhilesh, asserted that there was no question of going back on the list prepared by the Chief Minister.
In an apparent attack on Shivpal, he said many in the party do not want to see Akhilesh as the CM again. “But, the fact remains that people of the state want him back as CM,” he claimed.
He said Mulayam had convened a meeting on January 1 to take a final call on ticket distribution, “but due to pressure (from Shivpal), he announced the list on December 28”.
Akhilesh, who was present at an official function in the morning, did not take questions from mediapersons.
Though Akhilesh loyalists were enthusiastic to fight the elections “in the name of and as the face of the CM”, it was still not clear as to whether they would fight as Independents or float a new party.