Yadav family feud: What next for Akhilesh, Samajwadi Party and UP
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was unceremoniously expelled from the Samajwadi party by party chief Mulayam Singh on Friday, widening the family split that has threatened to divide SP vertically ahead of 2017 Assembly elections.
The family feud reached a crescendo on Friday when 77-year-old Mulayam announced he was expelling his son Akhilesh and Ram Gopal for “weakening the party” he founded in 1992.
The move came a day after the UP CM came up with his own list of 235 candidates for next year’s state polls. His action was viewed as defiance to his father and his uncle Shivpal, who had released the party’s official list -- which ignored leaders close to Akhilesh -- earlier this week .
Akhilesh -- who became the youngest chief minister in 2012 thanks to his popularity with young voters -- has been locked in a bitter dispute with his uncle Shivpal Yadav who is backed by the party patriarch. The 43-year-old CM is instead supported by his trusted adviser and other uncle Ram Gopal Yadav.
Family relations have soured since August, with several tit-for-tat sackings of rivals by Akhilesh and Shivpal as both camps vie for greater control of the party ahead of elections.
As talks of the Centre bringing UP under President’s Rule are doing the rounds and chances of a reconciliation unlikely, here are the possible scenarios:
If Akhilesh resigns as CM
Governor RK Naik invites parties to stake claim and show signatures of support to prove majority. Presently, sources have said Akhilesh has 175 loyal legislators by his side but needs the support of 27 more to stay afloat.
However, the governor can also accept the chief minister’s resignation, recommend President’s Rule and the state will head to early polls.
If Akhilesh doesn’t quit
Mulayam picks a new legislature party leader, asks the governor to administer oath of office. If Mulayam’s candidate has support, he/she is made the chief minister.
Or the party patriarch seeks President’s Rule.
If the assembly is dissolved
Akhilesh recommends dissolution of assembly and he can continue as the caretaker chief minister. This is subject to the governor’s approval.
Ramgopal and Akhilesh may elect a new party chief, claiming they are the real Samajwadi Party. The Election Commission may or may not recognise the claim.
(With agency inputs)