In an unforeseeable twist to the Samajwadi Party family feud, Shivpal Yadav on Thursday night tendered his resignation from the UP cabinet and quit as Samajwadi Party's state unit president, a post to which he was appointed just two days ago, according to ANI.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 15, 2016
His son Aditya and wife Sarla have also stepped down from all official positions they held within the party and government, according to CNN News-18. However, neither Akhilesh nor Mulayam have given a nod to the resignations so far. ANI also reported that Akhilesh Yadav has rejected the resignation of Shivpal from the government.
According to CNN-News18 ground, Shivpal Yadav's supporters have started gathering at Kalidas Marg in Lucknow outside his official residence and raising slogans in his support.
While political pundits continue to read between the lines and predict a possible outcome to the internal strife in the Yadav clan, this move is certainly being seen as a surprise.
Shivpal Yadav took the decision after a meeting with his elder brother and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Shivpal also briefly met his nephew and UP Chief Minister earlier in the evening on Thursday after which he sent his resignation to Akhilesh Yadav.
SP's Shivpal Yadav met UP CM Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow, meeting got over in 15 minutes. pic.twitter.com/aoONynrqAo
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 15, 2016
The development is being seen as a rebuff to all possibilities of coming together of the once powerful minister and his nephew, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Earlier in the day, Shivpal had ruled out quitting the ministry and said it was immaterial which posts he held as a minister.
SP became mired in controversy after an open fight broke out between CM Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav and broadcasted the fissures within the family.
Earlier reports had said that SP leaders were trying to reach a compromise. Ramgopal Yadav, SP national general secretary and Mulayam's cousin, had met Akhilesh in Lucknow on Thursday 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, had 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 had 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 had said.
But despite Ramgopal's assurances, Shivpal's resignation shows there was clearly a crisis in the Samajwadi Party.
After meeting Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday, Shivpal had told him that he was being painted as a villain despite following orders. Shivpal, who is the younger brother of Mulayam, had reached Delhi to meet the party chief at his official residence. In his over four-hour-long meeting, Shivpal had told Mulayam that in the past four-and-a-half years, he has followed the party supremo's directions despite having a difference of opinion on certain issues, according to PTI.
Sources close to Shivpal had said he gave examples that as a senior minister in the Akhilesh government, he never publicly opposed the decisions taken by Akhilesh or Mulayam even though he may have expressed a difference of opinion to them in private.
Later talking to reporters, Shivpal, however, had rejected suggestions that there were differences within the party and the Yadav family. "Neither I nor Netaji (Mulayam) is angry. We all are happy... There are no differences," he said.
With inputs from agencies