SP war: One more CM loyalist expelled, Akhilesh meets Guv
As the war in the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) continued, the Chief Minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, on Wednesday triggered speculation in the political circles by suddenly meeting Governor Ram Naik, hours after one more leader considered close to him was expelled from the party.
While the meeting between Akhilesh and Naik was officially described as a courtesy call, sources at the Governor’s House said the prevailing political situation in the state did figure during the 15-minute interaction.
“It was a courtesy call. The Chief Minister called on the Governor to wish him ahead of the Diwali festival as Naik will be out of station during the festival,” an official spokesman said. The Governor’s House officially described the meeting as a “courtesy call”. It was a one-on-one meeting without any aides.
Though officials maintained that an appointment had been sought in advance, the sudden meeting triggered speculation in the political circles.
Akhilesh abruptly left a meeting he was holding with party legislators and senior leaders to finalise the details of his proposed ‘rath yatra’ (chariot tour) from November 3, which led to spread of the word in the political circles that the call-on could have been in the context of the prevailing political situation in the state.
Sources said the Governor had asked the Chief Minister to apprise him of the latest political situation in the state considering the deep divisions in the ruling party.
Reports were doing the rounds that the Governor had sought a list of MLAs to convince himself that Akhilesh still enjoyed a majority in the Assembly.
However, sources said neither the Governor had sought any such list nor any such document was handed over to him by Akhilesh. SP sources said the visit might have been in connection with the four vacancies in the ministry after Akhilesh sacked his uncle Shivpal Yadav, Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai and Sayeda Shadaab Fatima in a sudden move on Sunday, plunging the party into a deeper crisis.