Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav triggered intense speculation in political circles by suddenly calling on governor Ram Naik on Wednesday soon after having lost another loyalist in a bitter
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav triggered intense speculation in political circles by suddenly calling on governor Ram Naik on Wednesday soon after having lost another loyalist in a bitter power struggle threatening to split the ruling Samajwadi Party.
This comes amid the BJP’s allegation that the CM has lost the confidence of his MLAs, and must prove his government’s majority in the Assembly. Sources said the CM carried a list of 205 MLAs backing him.
In the 403-member Assembly, the SP has 224 MLAs. The move is being seen as an attempt by the chief minister’s camp to pre-empt any move to upstage him. The governor’s office however called the meeting a courtesy call.
The CM met Mr Naik after his uncle Shivpal Yadav expelled from the party junior minister Tej Narain Pandey for indiscipline, the latest in a string of expulsions of the CM’s loyalists ordered by the SP’s UP chief. The CM sacked on Sunday Shivpal Yadav and three other “pro-Amar Singh” ministers from his Cabinet.
SP’s national president Mulayam Singh Yadav hit back by expelling from the party his cousin and SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, who has backed the CM in the bruising feud clouding the party’s prospects ahead of next year’s elections.
In another indication that no truce is likely, Shivpal Yadav began vacating his official residence in Lucknow on Wednesday. The patriarch has backed his brother Shivpal Yadav and brother-in-arms Amar Singh. Though he has chided Akhilesh Yadav on a number of occasions, he has also clarified that his CM son will complete his term.
On his part, Akhilesh Yadav has maintained he would not split the party, but would continue to act against “saboteurs.” The CM believes Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh have combined to discredit him, sources said.
The party would celebrate its silver jubilee on November 5, two days after the CM rolls out his solo statewide poll campaign. The CM met on Wednesday party legislators and ministers, including youth leaders expelled by his uncle, to discuss campaign strategies.
While expelling Tej Narain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey for six years on Wednesday, Shivpal Yadav also asked the CM to sack him from the council of ministers as well.
This came a day after party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav asserted that all was well within the party. Mr Pandey had allegedly slapped SP MLC Ashu Malik on Monday even as the uncle-nephew duo shouted at each other.