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After Ramgopal, Akhilesh loyalists face Shivpal wrath

The last has definitely not been heard on the ongoing feud in Uttar Pradesh’s ruling family. In a move that could further test chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s perseverance and patience, Samajwadi Party’s newly appointed state president Shivpal Yadav on Monday sacked three MLCs and state presidents of party’s four youth wings for their alleged disrespectful comments against SP national president Mulayam Singh Yadav and indiscipline.

All the seven suspended functionaries are known to be trusted Akhilesh lieutenants. In a show of strength last week, they had aggressive demonstrated outside the party headquarters demanding the UP chief minister be reinstated as the party’s state president.

Those suspended include three members of the legislative council and four heads of the front organizations. The sacked MLCs include Anand Bhadauraia, Sunil Sajan and Sanjay Lathar. Bhadauraia had openly spoken out against Shivpal. The other four leaders to face the axe are state president of Mulayam Singh Youth Brigade Mohammad Aibad, Yuvjan Sabha state chief Brajesh Yadav, Samajwadi Yuva Vahini state president Gaurav Dubey and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha chief Digvijay Singh. The action against these leaders is all the more embarrassing for the chief minister as he happens to be the national convenor of all four front bodies.

The action comes a day after Shivpal sacked senior SP leader and Mulayam’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav’s nephew Arvind Yadav on similar grounds. In course of resolving the crisis, Mulayam Singh had mentioned that Ramgopal Yadav was number two in the party. The sacking of seven leaders on Monday may spark another round of infighting in the party.

Akhilesh Yadav in the past too had fought for his loyalists when earlier this year the SP chief had sacked Sunil Sajan and Anand Bhadauria during the panchayat elections on grounds that they were not supporting the party candidates. The move had left Akhilesh so infuriated that he boycotted the inauguration of the annual Safai festival in Yadav stronghold of Etawah. Later, however, their suspension was revoked.
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