LUCKNOW: With Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav putting his foot down, Samjwadi Party today called off its merger with gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari's party just three days after it announced the decision drawing all-round flak.
The party also decided on reinduction of Secondary Education Minister Balram Yadav, who was sacked by Akhilesh apparently for facilitating the merger. "Mukhtar Ansari will not be welcome in the party. We don't want such people in the party," Akhilesh said during a programme organised by a news channel here, publicly venting his unhappiness on the merger with Ansari's Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED).
Soon after the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's remarks, the parliamentary board of the party, which met here, said no to the merger and decided on reinduction of Balram.
"There will be no merger of Qaumi Ekta Dal in the Samajwadi Party...this has been decided at the parliamentary board meeting," SP national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav told newspersons after the meeting of the party's highest policy-making body.
The announcement of the merger on June 21 by Cabinet Minister Shivpal Yadav, who is brother of Akhilesh's father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, had started a tug-of-war in the family, with the Chief Minister saying today that he didn't take the decision regarding the merger.
Akhilesh's displeasure over the merger with Ansari's Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) ahead of next year's Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls was evident earlier when he said, "If party workers perform their responsibilities, then there will be no need of another party."
Besides sacking Balram, he is also understood to have been upset with prisons minister Balwant Ramoowalia, who had reportedly ordered Ansari's transfer from Agra prison to Lucknow jail.
Ansari was lodged in Agra jail in connection with killing of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai in 2005.
The Chief Minister had, however, later described the merger as an "internal matter" of the party and said he had no displeasure over it.