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Akhilesh selects Ram Govind Chaudhary as opposition leader in UP assembly

The 70-year-old Chaudhary is considered close to Akhilesh and served as basic education, child development and nutrition minister in the erstwhile SP government.

lucknow Updated: Mar 27, 2017 20:09 IST
PTI, Lucknow
Ram Govind Chaudhary,Leader of Opposition,UP Assembly
Samajwadi Party elected Ram Govind Chaudhary as leader of opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly.(ANI Twitter)

Eight-time MLA Ram Govind Chaudhary of the Samajwadi Party is set to become the leader of opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly as party chief Akhilesh Yadav nominated him on Monday ignoring stalwarts like Azam Khan and Shivpal Yadav.

“Akhilesh Yadav has nominated Ram Govind Chaudhary as the leader of the SP Legislature Party and he will also be the Leader of Opposition,” SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said in Lucknow.

The 70-year-old Chaudhary is considered close to Akhilesh and served as basic education, child development and nutrition minister in the erstwhile SP government.

The name of Azam Khan, the parliamentary affairs minister in the Akhilesh government, was also doing the rounds. During the Mayawati government, when the Samajwadi Party was the main opposition party, Shivpal Yadav was the leader of opposition.

But since he fell out with his nephew and SP president Akhilesh, it was unlikely that Shivpal would be nominated for the post.

Chaudhary, who was active in student union politics, was first elected to the UP legislature in 1977 from Chillhar constituency. He now represents Bansdih constituency in Ballia district.

Party sources said SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav has convened a meeting of party legislators on Wednesday, a day after his son will meet newly elected party MLAs, reflecting that differences in the Yadav family were not over.

“The first meeting of the SP Legislature Party will take place tomorrow. No agenda has been set as of now,” Chaudhary said.

Akhilesh had convened the party’s national executive meeting in Lucknow on Saturday but senior members Mulayam and Khan were conspicuously absent.

Following a bitter feud within the family, Akhilesh had snatched reins from Mulayam and their fight also reached the Election Commission on the dispute over ‘bicycle’ symbol, which was allotted to Akhilesh.

Mulayam, who has since been given the role of party mentor, had openly criticised the Samajwadi-Congress alliance and was virtually absent during the recent UP assembly poll campaign.

First Published: Mar 27, 2017 20:04 IST