UP election: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam expels Akhilesh, Ramgopal for six years

Sending out a strong signal that no mutiny from any rank will be tolerated, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and general secretary Ramgopal Yadav for six years from the party. Addressing the media on Friday from his residence in Lucknow, Mulayam, who was sitting with Shivpal Yadav, said that Akhilesh was expelled over indiscipline. Ramgopal has been expelled for his attempts to break the party.

However, minutes after Mulayam's press conference, thousands of Akhilesh supporters thronged the party headquarters, demanding his reinstatement.

Questioning Ramgopal's intention and accusing him off brainwashing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam said, "Chief Minister is not understanding that Ramgopal is finishing his career and his future. I have build this party with a lot of efforts and I will not tolerate anyone who attempts to break it," Mulayam told mediapersons.

However, Ramgopal hit back at his cousin and said constitutional protocol wasn't followed in his ouster.

Rival parties chose to distance themselves from the rift between father and son. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it's the Samajwadi Party's internal affair and other parties shouldn't meddle. "But they must be wary of the BJP meddling into the SP's internal affairs. They did this in Uttarakhand as well, where they tried to topple our elected government and are trying to create instability in UP as well," he said.

JD-U leader Sharad Yadav also adopted a similar approach.

Mulayam also said that the new chief minister will be chosen by the party leadership.

The drama in the ruling Samajwadi Party family reached a crescendo on Friday when father Mulayam issued a showcause notice to son after a defiant Akhilesh Yadav released a new list of poll candidates, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has called a meeting of all the candidates allotted tickets amid hectic efforts to stave off a possible split in the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh. The crisis reached a flash point late on Thursday night after Akhilesh "circulated" his own list of 235 candidates for the assembly elections, the schedule for which is likely to be announced any day now.

Mulayam also issued a showcause notice to Akhilesh for 'indiscipline' over releasing a parallel list of candidates for Uttar Pradesh elections on Thursday night. Shivpal Yadav, the warring uncle of Akhilesh, drove to the residence of his brother Mulayam. The two were closeted for nearly an hour, but it was not immediately known what transpired at the meeting as Shivpal did not answer questions of reporters waiting outside Mulayam's residence.

Mulayam has convened a meeting on Saturday of the 393 candidates who have been allotted tickets by him. Party insiders said the meeting was very crucial as the SP chief was likely gauge the sentiments of the candidates and conduct a fresh review of the list amid fears that the battle for control in SP left the party cadres divided and highly confused at grassroots level.

Amid reports of open rebellion ahead of, possibly the most crucial political event of 2017, there were also reports that Akhilesh might break away from the ruling party and join Congress to float his own party. Veteran journalist and former CNN-IBN chief Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted:

Akhilesh "circulated" his own list of 235 candidates for the assembly elections, the schedule for which is likely to be announced any day now. Mulayam has called a meeting of all the candidates allotted tickets amid hectic efforts to stave off a possible split in the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh.

Updated Date: Dec 30, 2016 19:48:02 IST