Yadav family feud: Akhilesh emerges clear winner
The feud in UP’s ruling Samajwadi Party on Monday came out into the open with a high-voltage drama unfolding in full public view during which party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav sided with his younger brother Shivpal and friend Amar Singh, and reprimanded son Akhilesh Yadav but ruled out his removal as Chief Minister.
However, there is more than what meets the eye. Party insiders told Millennium Post that Akhilesh emerged as the real winner of the ongoing family feud. When Akhilesh took over as Chief Minister there were five power centres in the party, with the likes of Azam Khan, Shivpal Yadav, Ramgopal Yadav, Anita Singh and Amar Singh wielding considerable clout both within the party and administration. After high voltage developments on Monday it is clear that there will be no split in UP’s ruling party, nor is Akhilesh’s continuance as Chief minister under any threat whatsoever.
“Samajwadi party now has 227 MLAs in the UP assembly, around 125 of them will be dropped before the Assembly elections in 2017,” the insider told Millennium Post. Amid speculation about a possible split ahead of the assembly polls, the bitter power struggle in SP’s first family played out on stage at a meeting called by its supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav of party legislators, MPs and other leaders where Akhilesh, blowing hot and cold, first offered to step down in a choked voice but later accused Amar Singh and those close to him of hatching a “conspiracy” against him and his father.
There were sharp exchanges between Akhilesh and Mulayam, who virtually dismissed him as an insignificant entity in UP politics who could not win an election without his support.
“What is your capability? Can you win elections?” he said, snapping at Akhilesh. There were ugly scenes and name-calling, with Shivpal Yadav, the state SP chief, snatching microphone from Akhilesh and calling him a liar, only to make a dramatic appearance at the Chief Minister’s residence hours later. The nephew-uncle duo drove in the same car to meet party patriarch Mulayam, who was said to be having a severe toothache, surprising many.
The bile-filled exchanges between top SP leaders came a day after the continuing battle of attrition between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav saw the Chief Minister sacking Shivpal and three other ministers close to him, and Mulayam striking back with vengeance expelling from the party for six years his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav.
Curiously late on Monday, Akhilesh baiters like Shivpal Yadav, Azam Khan and even ‘outsider’ Amar Singh maintained a stony silence. It seems clear that Akhilesh has emerged stronger in ongoing power tussle and will spearhead the party’s campaign as its CM candidate early next year.