LUCKNOW: After a monumental drubbing in the UP elections in which it was reduced to its worst-ever tally, the Samajwadi Party is now bracing for Season 2 of the feud in its first family.
The dramatis personae of round one, which had a detrimental effect on the party’s poll prospects, are regrouping and readying themselves for what is being viewed as one last battle for the control over the party.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has already made his intentions clear by dropping his uncle and former minister Shivpal Yadav from the state executive. He conveniently forgot to consider the seven-time Jaswantnagar MLA—with whom he had a running feud since September last year—for the post of the SP’s legislature party chief’s post.
While Shivpal had held this post during the previous BSP rule, Akhilesh this time opted for his loyalist MLA Ram Govind Chaudhary. Akhilesh, who had sacked Shivpal as a minister and deposed his father Mulayam Singh Yadav to take the command of the party in the heat of the intra-family struggle, openly declared that he would take action against those who were involved in ‘back-stabbing’ and worked against the interest of the party.
Shivpal on the other hand, after lying low for nearly a month, has opened a front by publicly demanding that Aklhilesh should hand over the party’s reins to Netaji (Mulayam) as promised by him before elections. Mulayam’s ‘Chhoti Bahu’ Aparna Yadav has already made similar demands.
Both Shivpal and Aparna have met BJP chief minister Aditya Nath Yogi recently, sending the rumour mills into an overdrive. Although both have termed the meeting a ‘routine exercise’, an alarmed Mulayam called Shivpal to Delhi for an emergency meeting to assuage his hurt feelings.
Highly placed sources say that Shivpal adopted a tough posture before his elder brother, indicating that he was in no mood to buy peace with nephew Akhilesh who has been humiliating him for the past several months. Shivpal also reportedly told Mulayam that he should take back the party chiefs’ post or allow him to decide his (Shivpal’s) future course of action.
The rancour among the warring groups is quite obvious right since the day the results were declared on March 11and SP lost bitterly, when Shivpal declared that it was a defeat of ‘arrogance’ and ‘false pride’, making no efforts to hide who he was referring to.
Mulayam, who was seen siding by his son despite facing humiliation, too, has opened up and has been going to town with his sob story of how he was humiliated by his son and how the feud ruined the party’s prospects. With battle lines again drawn in the Yadav family, watch this space for the final outcome.