Refusing to give a direct answer over the rift within the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said that the fight is in the government and not in the family.
"Where have you found a family fight? There may be problems in the government, but not in the family. This is a fight in the government not in the family," Akhilesh Yadav said.
Akhilesh said that he too will follow the directions of his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. "If I have taken any decision, it was in consultation with 'netaji', but at times one has to apply his own mind and I too took some decisions on my own," he said.
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Ghar kay bahar kay log hastakshep karenge toh kaise chalegi (sarkar): Akhilesh Yadav, CM UP pic.twitter.com/7vgt9zRNZt
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Where have you found a family fight? This is a fight in government, not a family fight: Akhilesh Yadav, CM UP pic.twitter.com/SPnopBBcIN
— ANI (@ANI_news) September 14, 2016
"How can an outsider be allowed to intervene in the functioning of UP govt? Some decisions were taken in consultation with Netaji (Mulayam Singh) and some I took on my own," Akhilesh Yadav added.
With strife in the ruling Yadav clan coming out in the open, Akhilesh skipped two official programmes outside his residence, perhaps to avoid the media, and allowed only "photo-op" for a function there.
But to a question, he said, "As far as family is concerned, everyone abides by what 'netaji' (Mulayam Singh Yadav) says and will accept his words."
Disagreements between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav have been reported on several occasions in the past, including on the choice of the official to be appointed as the state's chief secretary after Alok Ranjan's term ended, and postponing the merger of SP with Qaumi Ekta Dal.
Hours after SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav made his brother Shivpal Singh, senior cabinet minister the UP unit head of the ruling party, in an angry retort, the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav clipped his uncle's wings by stripping him of the plum PWD, irrigation, and cooperative portfolios.
The Samajwadi Party top brass, meanwhile, swung into a damage control mode to keep the flock together ahead of Assembly elections, with Mulayam calling Shivpal and Ram Gopal Yadav for a meeting in New Delhi. As the state plunged into an unprecedented crisis, the chief minister stayed put in his 5, Kalidas Marg official residence since Wednesday morning to take stock of the situation and did not attend two official engagements perhaps to avoid the media.
Amid speculation that he will resign from the Akhilesh cabinet, Shivpal said giving and taking portfolios is the discretion of the CM and he will abide by the decision of Mulayam. "It is the discretion of CM to give (or take) portfolios and remove officers and keep his advisors. I will follow netaji's directions and will fulfil responsibilities given by him," he told reporters at Saifai, Mulayam's native village.
Sharp differences in the Yadav family came out into the open as the Chief Minister shunted Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal, barely two months after his appointment, setting off a chain of developments that saw the SP supremo ousting his son as state party chief and replacing him with Shivpal.
Shivpal was said to have shepherded the merger of gangster-politician Mukhtar Ansari's QED with the Samajwadi Party. He is now left with land development, water resources, and social welfare ministries.
An infographic on the Yadav family tree
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Sep 14, 2016 18:26 PM