LUCKNOW: Amid the raging feud in Mulayam Singh Yadav's family, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav today said the leadership had committed a "mistake" by removing Akhilesh Yadav as party's UP president and that "differences" had arisen due to some "misunderstanding".
Ramgopal, SP national general secretary and Mulayam's cousin, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav here in a bid to defuse the situation after the CM stripped his uncle and Cabinet Minister Shivpal Yadav of key ministerial portfolios, hours after Mulayam replaced him with Shivpal as the party's state unit chief.
"Differences do take place on some minor point and they can be resolved.... The leadership, though not deliberately, had made a mistake when CM was removed from the post of (state) president (of SP)," Ramgopal, who is known to be close to Mulayam's son Akhilesh, told reporters before the meeting.
"He (CM) should have been asked to resign and he would have tendered it. He could have been told that elections are coming and you continue as CM and the work of state president will be taken care of by him (Shivpal). Some misunderstanding has taken place and there is nothing more to it," he said.
He asserted that there is "no crisis" in Samajwadi Party. "Many times some decisions are made due to which people feel that there is some problem in the party. There is nothing like that. This happens in all parties in different situations," Ramgopal.
When asked about the CM's statement that he has taken some decisions on his own, Ramgopal said, "Whatever decisions the CM has taken were on the directions of party president (Mulayam). Some decisions, he (CM) said, he has taken himself. It is not unnatural that a CM of a state like Uttar Pradesh takes some decisions on his own. It is natural... he should take decisions".
When asked about reports suggesting that Akhilesh will be made working President of SP for damage control, Ramgopal said, "It's simply gossip." "When netaji (Mulayam) is President, there is no such question."
Asked about the CM's statement regarding role of "outsiders" in the family tussle, Ramgopal said, "I will talk to the chief minister as to what he wanted to say.... But there is a general perception in party workers, leaders and people about this...." On the talk of party's Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's alleged role, Ramgopal said, "When you have come to conclusion, what can I say.... I will let you know later."
Shivpal, who is the younger brother of Mulayam, had yesterday reached Delhi to meet the party chief at his official residence. An indication that the crisis in the SP lingered on came when Shivpal told Mulayam that despite following his orders, he was being painted as a villain.
Later talking to reporters, Shivpal had rejected suggestions that there were differences within the party and the Yadav clan. "Neither am I angry nor is Netaji (Mulayam). We all are happy...there are no differences," he had said.
Mulayam is likely to reach Lucknow tomorrow morning. Asked about another report of national parliamentary board meeting of the party, Ramgopal said that there is not need for it.
"When has it been called? I am the secretary of parliamentary board and I call the meet. It is called when there is an issue of removing anyone or deciding tickets of Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Parishad...there is nothing like that," he said.
After meeting the Chief Minister, Ramgopal refused to divulge any detail and said "everything will be resolved once netaji (Mulayam) and CM will talk.... He is coming to Lucknow tomorrow or day after tomorrow".
However, he was riled by questions on Amar Singh. "There is nothing like mulayamwadi..If someone is not Samajwadi, then how can he be mulayamwadi," he said in response to queries on Singh, who was expelled in 2010 and rejoined the party a few months ago Ramgopal said that due to "simplicity" of Mulayam, "those who have nothing to do with party interest are able to take benefit".
"You also know this. Those who have nothing to do with party's interest take benefit of simplicty of netaji.... They harm the party.... All those who met me are saying so," Ramgopal said. "He is the same person, who used netaji's simplicity to make an incharge of the party (Shivpal was earlier made SP UP incharge). There is no such post in SP. They say you are being challenged.....There is no one in the party who can challenge netaji," he said.
On making Shivpal the state SP president, Ramgopal said, "I had issued the order. I was asked to issue it immediately. It was his (Mulayam) order. It was to be complied,". Asked if the Chief Minister was angry with him, Ramgopal said, "Akhilesh is not agry with anyone".
About the action against Shivpal by Akhilesh, he said, "When there is an action, it will have reaction...." "After netaji and CM will meet, all will be fine. Whatever netaji will indicate will take place." When asked about Rahul Gandhi terming cycle, the SP's poll symbol, as "punctured", he said he would not like to talk about the Congress Vice Presidnet.
"Rahul can say anything... I will not say anything on him," he said, adding "jinki khatiya uth gayi unko kya kahein...(What can I say about people whose cot has been lifted".