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Akhilesh says he will not break away from SP, offers to step

Akhilesh says he will not break away from SP, offers to step
Akhilesh broke down while addressing a meeting of party legislators, ministers and MPs convened here by Mulayam Singh Yadav at the party headquarters, outside which supporters of rival SP factions exchanged blows prompting police to use force to disperse them.

Amid protests from his supporters, Akhilesh offered to step down as CM if Mulayam so desired.

"Let '<g data-gr-id="30">netaji</g>' (Mulayam) install a chief minister who he feels is honest," he said.

"Why should I form a new party?" he posed in an emotionally choked voice.

At the <g data-gr-id="31">meeting</g> Akhilesh said all these years he had toiled hard for the welfare of the people.

"<g data-gr-id="32">Merey</g> pita, <g data-gr-id="33">merey</g> guru <g data-gr-id="34">hain</g> (my father is my guru)" he said.

The Chief Minister said many people were trying to create divisions within his family using various machinations and that he had taught himself how to oppose any <g data-gr-id="37">wrong doing</g>.

His uncle Shivpal was present at the meeting.

<g data-gr-id="35">Tension</g> was palpable much before the meeting began with youth supporters of Akhilesh mounting pressure on the leadership in support of the chief minister.

The meeting assumed significance as it came a day after Akhilesh engaged in a face-off with his father by <g data-gr-id="36">sacking</g> each other's loyalists Ramgopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav.

Akhilesh had sacked Shivpal, his uncle and party's state unit chief, along with three other "pro-Amar Singh" ministers from his Cabinet.

Mulayam, in a tit-for-tat action, expelled Ramgopal, pro-CM cousin and SP's national general secretary, from the party for six years, plunging the party into worst-ever crisis days ahead of its silver jubilee celebrations and at a time when Assembly elections were barely <g data-gr-id="38">few</g> months away.

PTI

PTI

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