LUCKNOW: With the infighting in Samajwadi Party’s (SP) first family reaching a flashpoint, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP national general secretary and RS member Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years for allegedly indulging in gross indiscipline, on Friday evening.
Holding both the leaders responsible for the ongoing family feud, Mulayam said the organisation was the priority for him and indiscipline from any quarters won’t be tolerated.
Asserting that the party would appoint a new chief minister, Mulayam said Akhilesh was paying for his own faults. “He should not have come out with a parallel list of his own 235 candidates when the party had already released the official list,” said the SP chief, while addressing media representatives here.
Replying to a question on the possibility of Akhilesh tendering an apology, Mulayam said: “It will be seen if such a situation crops up.”
Taking similar action against Ram Gopal Yadav, the SP chief accused him of ruining Akhilesh’s future. He said it was imperative for Akhilesh to stop Ram Gopal from going public with his diatribe against the party leadership in a bid to endorse Akhilesh’s list of candidates.
Reacting to Ram Gopal’s move to call an emergency meeting of the party’s ‘National Executive’ on January 1, 2017, the SP chief said: “Ram Gopal has no stature to call a national executive meeting as he stands expelled.”
However, challenging Mulayam’s action, Ram Gopal Yadav termed it as against the spirit of the party constitution and that it could be challenged in any court of law. Ram Gopal, who has been expelled for the second time in three months, said that the party leadership had acted on the basis of wrong facts.
“Netaji has given ticket to those who are not even party members,” said Ram Gopal, adding that Mulayam was being misguided by a few party insiders who have vested interests.
After the expulsion of the two leaders, supporters of Akhilesh took to the streets in large numbers demanding that the SP chief do justice for the chief minister. They raised slogans such as: “Akhilesh tum sanghrash karo, hum tumhare saath hain (Akhilesh you continue fighting, we are with you)” and “Shivpal murdabaad”. Two of his supporters attempted self-immolation and have been admitted in hospital in a critical condition.
Some party spokespersons also resigned from their posts in support of Akhilesh.
Earlier in the day, toughening his stand, the SP chief had issued show-cause notices to both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal for indulging in indiscipline.
Ram Gopal and senior State minister Azam Khan had both claimed of a plot by party insiders to destabilise the organisation ahead of the Assembly elections.