Escalating the infighting to another level, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, in a major political development today, sacked UP Chief Minister and son Akhilesh Yadav from all party posts for six years.
Along with the CM, Mulayam also sacked his cousin and party General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav for a similar time period.
The decision puts Akhilesh’s future as the Chief Minister of the poll-bound state uncertain, as the senior Yadav said that decision on the next Chief Minister will be taken by him soon.
“Ram Gopal is misguiding the CM, and with these two in the party, the future of the party remains in dark,” Mulayam said.
“I am left with no other option but to take action against both of them, for the welfare of the party, as it has utmost importance to me,” said the octogenarian leader and former state chief minister.
With the late evening development, the party is set for an almost certain split and both factions are likely to have a showdown on January 1 when Ram Gopal Yadav has convened the National Executive meeting of the party.
“Only the party president has the authority to call such a meeting. Prof Yadav has no right to convene such a meeting,” Mulayam added.
The senior Yadav also asked party members not to attend the meeting called by Ram Gopal, and warned of strict action.
In wake of the development, party workers have started protests in front of Chief Minister’s residence in Lucknow, where anti- Shivapal slogans were also heard.
Lucknow-Supporters gather outside Akhilesh Yadav's residence, raise slogans in his support after SP Chief expelled UP CM for 6 yrs frm party pic.twitter.com/Ulj0RwnYPb— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 30, 2016
Lucknow: Protesters tear down the posters of Shivpal Singh Yadav after Akhilesh Yadav was expelled from the party for 6 years pic.twitter.com/MivvuqJpQa— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 30, 2016
Ram Gopal says he is and will remain party general secretary
Appearing on national television minutes after his expulsion from SP, Ram Gopal said that MSY was not aware of the party constitution.
“Netaji is not aware of the party constitution, hundreds of party and executive council members of SP wrote letters to me to convene the emergency meeting to stop the various unconstitutional activities happening in the party,” Ram Gopal said.
“It is well within my constitutional limit to convene such meeting” he added.
Questioning MSY’s decision of his expulsion from the party, Ram Gopal said: “In fact, it is Netaji who is taking unconstitutional decisions. How come he sacked me within hours of serving show cause notice to me and not giving me an opportunity to present my case?”
“I am the general secretary of the party and will remain so,” said a confident Yadav.
In wake of the development, a large number of party workers have gathered outside the Chief Minister’s residence in Lucknow, where anti- Shivapal slogans were also heard.
Latest media reports say that CM Akhilesh Yadav is likely to address a press conference soon.
It is unfortunate. However it is their internal matter: Sharad Yadav, JD (U) on Ram Gopal and Akhilesh Yadav expelled from party pic.twitter.com/A6FgkpupYi— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 30, 2016
Akhilesh appeals for no protests against father
Few hours after his expulsion from the party, Akhilesh Yadav has asked his co-workers to not create a ruckus.
"No one will burn any effigies or posters of Mulayam Singh Yadav," Akhilesh appealed to them.
"Doors of CM house will remain open post 12 AM, anyone who wants can walk in.