Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family has been dogged by serious differences but matters reached a flash point on Tuesday after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav shunted out Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, considered as his uncle Shivpal Yadav's favourite.
In a tit-for-tat action, Mulayam took away the post of UP Samajwadi Party chief from his son Akhilesh and handed it to Shivpal, perhaps to settle differences that may have arisen as a result on the move. But, within hours, a peeved CM hit back by clipping his uncle's wings by divesting him of his key PWD, Irrigation and Cooperative portfolios.
The that today played out in the open is not new to the Yadav family. In June this year, when Akhilesh overturned Shivpal’s decision to join hands with Quami Ekta Dal for the upcoming assembly polls, Shivpal displayed displeasure by arriving late at the venue of the birthday party of his brother Ram Gopal Yadav.
However, the latest crisis assumes significance as it comes at a time when the party is in the midst of ticket distribution process and differences among its top leaders could upset the party's cart during the Assembly elections due early next year.
When the SP supremo had anointed his son Akhilesh as the chief minister in 2012 overlooking the claims of Shivpal, it was anyone's guess that the ruling party will face pulls and pressures very often. It is no secret that Shivpal has harboured chief ministerial ambitions and did not take too kindly to his claims being overlooked in 2012.
So, when Akhilesh today sought to clear the air saying that the differences were political and that all was well in the family, it brought to fore the fact that the different camps within the party are all held by family members.
To bring you up to speed, we bring to you the members of Mulayam Singh's extended family that rule the roost in the current UP dispensation:
Mulayam Singh Yadav is the supremo of Samajwadi Party, and his son Akhilesh Yadav is the Chief Minister. Mulayam’s cousin Prof Ramgopal Yadav is the SP general secretary and Rajya Sabha member.
Mulayam’s daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav is the party MP from Kannauj.
His younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav, who is now in-charge of the party’s state unit, was till yesterday Minister for Public Words, Irrigation, and 10 other departments. He was also the chairman of Agriculture Produce Mandi Parishad.
Prof Ram Gopal Yadav's son Akshay Yadav is the MP from Firozabad, Mualayam Singh's nephew Dharmendra Yadav is the MP from Badayun and his grandson Tej Pratap Yadav, the upcoming star is the MP from Mainpuri.
Shivpal Singh Yadav's son Aditya Kumar Yadav is the chairman of UP Cooperative Federation, and his nephew Anurag Yadav is the national secretary of SP's youth wing Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha.
And now the members from Yadav community in the UP cabinet: Shivpal Singh Yadav, Paras Nath Yadav, Balram Yadav, Durga Prasad Yadav, Ram Govind Chaudhary, Ambika Chaudhary, Kailash Yadav and Dr Shiv Pratap Yadav.
Dr Anil Kumar Yadav is the chairman of UP Public Service Commission, Raj Kishore Yadav is the chairman of UP subordinate staff selection commission, while Brajraj Singh Yadav is Joint Secretary and State Estates Officer.
A large number of bureaucrats are from the Yadav community, both in the state and district administration, as well as the police and have been posted since the time Akhilesh Yadav took over as chief minister.