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Family feud: Mulayam steps in, brokers temporary truce

There is no loser within the Yadav clan, as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday managed to douse the crisis in the party for the time being. The veteran leader said in Lucknow on Friday that there can be no division in the party till he was there, a day after the dramatic resignation from the Cabinet and party posts by his brother Shivpal Yadav. Mulayam Singh refused to accept his resignation from the party post, nor did Akhilesh from the cabinet.

Having managed to negotiate a truce between his son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his brother Shivpal Yadav, the party patriarch said his son would not defy his words and announced that sacked Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati would be taken back in the Cabinet. Prajapati’s sacking is said to have triggered the feud between Shivpal Yadav and his nephew Akhilesh Yadav.

“There can be no division in the party, till I am there,” said the veteran, adding “We have a big family, differences may occur... There is no fight between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh.” He also said that there was neither any fight between Shivpal and his cousin Ramgopal Yadav, who sided with the chief minister during the crisis.

Sources in Lucknow, however, said that Akhilesh agreed to the truce and “extend respect” to his uncle only on the condition that he would have a major say in the distribution of the party tickets in the upcoming assembly polls in the state. “He is looking at the future and took a commitment from his father that he would lead the party in the upcoming polls with a team of his choice. Re-instating Prajapati or giving Shivpal back his portfolios are a small price to pay for this long term gambit,” a party functionary close to Samajwadi Party leadership said.

The chief minister is also reported to have extracted a promise from his father of action against Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, who is believed to have fuelled crisis in the party. Several leaders within the party including Minister Azam Khan and Rajya Sabha members Ramgopal Yadav and Naresh Agarwal have expressed their reservations about the role of their party colleague in Rajya Sabha.

The ruling party circles witnessed hectic parleys right from the early hours on Friday, with a number of legislators and ministers meeting Shivpal Yadav. Prajapati was one among them. Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey also met Shivpal Yadav in an apparent bid to soothe frayed nerves.

After his meeting with Mulayam Singh Yadav, which lasted hardly 15 minutes, Shivpal Yadav left for his residence after which Akhilesh Yadav returned home to meet Mulayam Singh Yadav and they took stock of the situation. After meeting Mulayam Singh, Shivpal told agitated supporters who gathered outside his Kalidas Marg residence that he was with his brother. “We all have to strengthen the Samajwadi Party. We are with Netaji [Mulayam Singh Yadav]. His message is an order for us. We will not let the party be weakened. In every situation, we are with Netaji,” Shivpal Yadav said, thus effectively ending the crisis.
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