Lucknow: Signalling widening of the rift within the leadership of the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday reportedly started functioning from the recently inaugurated Janeshwar Mishra Trust office.
Akhilesh's new political office is situated at 7, Bandariya Bagh, and houses the team of young leaders who were recently expelled from the party by state SP chief Shivpal Singh Yadav and are considered close to the Chief Minister.
No senior SP leaders had attended the inauguration of the Trust office on 9 October.
Shivpal Yadav had reportedly banned the entry of these young leaders from the SP headquarters on Vikramaditya Marg, and its affiliate offices.
On Monday as Akhilesh went to his new 'working office', sources said, senior ministers Ahmad Hasan, Rajendra Chowdhary, Shiv Pratap Yadav, Ram Govind Chowdhary and Abhishek Mishra — who was recently elevated as cabinet minister — were by Akhilesh's side.
Sources also said that a 'permanent team' of Chief Minister's security detail, which was stationed at Vikramaditya Marg was withdrawn and stationed at the new Bandariya Bagh political office.
Incidentally, the Trust office is situated adjacent to the back gate of the SP headquarters on 19, Vikramaditya Marg.
On Friday, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said the party's legislators after the Uttar Pradesh elections will pick the new Chief Minister, in a clear indication that his son and incumbent Akhilesh won't be the face of the party in the polls. Flanked by state party chief and younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati, both daggers drawn with Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh said the legislators always elected their Chief Minister.
"The elected legislators and the Samajwadi Party's Parliamentary Board will pick the next Chief Minister," he told the media in Lucknow. This would mean that unlike in 2012, when the Samajwadi Party swept the assembly polls, the party won't portray the young Akhilesh as its Chief Ministerial candidate.