Senior Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s cousin Ram Gopal Yadav today said that party leadership made a mistake by removing CM Akhilesh Yadav as party’s state unit chief without consulting with him.
“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),” SP general secretary and a Rajya Sabha MP said.
"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 also denied there any crisis in the party.
“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,” he said.
When asked about the CM's statement that he has taken some decisions on his own, the SP leader said, "Whatever decisions the CM has taken were on the directions of party president (Mulayam). Some decisions, he (CM) said, he has taken himself. It is not unnatural that a CM of a state like Uttar Pradesh takes some decisions on his own. It is natural... he should take decisions."
When asked about reports suggesting that Akhilesh will be made working president of SP for damage control, Ram Gopal said, "It's simply gossip. When netaji (Mulayam) is President, there is no such question."
Asked about the CM's statement regarding role of "outsiders" in the family tussle, Ram Gopal said, "I will talk to the chief minister as to what he wanted to say.... But there is a general perception in party workers, leaders and people about this...."
On the talk of party's Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's alleged role, Ram Gopal said, "When you have come to conclusion, what can I say.... I will let you know later."
Shivpal, who is the younger brother of Mulayam, had yesterday reached Delhi to meet the party chief at his official residence.
An indication that the crisis in the SP lingered on came when Shivpal told Mulayam that despite following his orders, he was being painted as a villain.
Later talking to reporters, Shivpal had rejected suggestions that there were differences within the party and the Yadav clan.
"Neither am I angry nor is Netaji (Mulayam). We all are happy...there are no differences," he had said.
Asked about another report of national parliamentary board meeting of the party, Ram Gopal said that there is not need for it.
"When has it been called? I am the secretary of parliamentary board and I call the meet. It is called when there is an issue of removing anyone or deciding tickets of Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Parishad...there is nothing like that," he said.
After meeting the Chief Minister, Ram Gopal refused to divulge any detail and said, "Everything will be resolved once netaji (Mulayam) and CM will talk.... He is coming to Lucknow tomorrow or day after tomorrow".
However, he was riled by questions on Amar Singh.
"There is nothing like mulayamwadi..If someone is not Samajwadi, then how can he be mulayamwadi," he said in response to queries on Singh, who was expelled in 2010 and rejoined the party a few months ago Ram Gopal said that due to "simplicity" of Mulayam, "those who have nothing to do with party interest are able to take benefit".
"You also know this. Those who have nothing to do with party's interest take benefit of simplicty of netaji.... They harm the party.... All those who met me are saying so," Ram Gopal said.
"He is the same person, who used netaji's simplicity to make an incharge of the party (Shivpal was earlier made SP UP incharge). There is no such post in SP. They say you are being challenged.....There is no one in the party who can challenge netaji," he said.
On making Shivpal the state SP president, Ram Gopal said, "I had issued the order. I was asked to issue it immediately. It was his (Mulayam) order. It was to be complied."
Asked if the Chief Minister was angry with him, Ram Gopal said, "Akhilesh is not angry with anyone".
About the action against Shivpal by Akhilesh, he said, "When there is an action, it will have reaction...."
"After netaji and CM will meet, all will be fine. Whatever netaji will indicate will take place."
When asked about Rahul Gandhi terming cycle, the SP's poll symbol, as "punctured", he said he would not like to talk about the Congress vice president.
"Rahul can say anything... I will not say anything on him," he said, adding "jinki khatiya uth gayi unko kya kahein...(What can I say about people whose cot has been lifted".
The entire episode was triggered after Akhilesh Yadav had sacked two ministers -- Gayatri Prajapati (Mining) and Rajkishore Singh (Panchayati Raj) -- considered close to Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav on Monday.
Akhilesh also removed Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal, who was also known to be close to Shivpal Yadav, on Tuesday. Akhilesh was then removed as state party chief and replaced by uncle Shivpal Yadav. Akhilesh in turn divested Shivpal of plum portfolios in the state cabinet