An open war broke out today in Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav stripping his uncle Shivpal Yadav of key ministerial portfolios, hours after his removal as the party's state unit chief and appointment of the latter in his place.
In a communique sent to Raj Bhawan, which was later approved by Governor Ram Naik, Akhilesh Yadav removed Shivpal Yadav as PWD, Irrigation, Flood Control, and Cooperatives Minister, bringing down the number of portfolios held by him from ten to just two.
Shivpal Yadav, brother of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, has now been given the insignificant portfolio of social welfare.
The move is seen as one to "render Shivpal completely powerless" and strike back by Akhilesh Yadav, who has been smarting under a slew of decisions by his father and party chief, in which he was not consulted.
Akhilesh Yadav has kept the PWD portfolio with himself, while Avdhesh Prasad has been given the charge of Irrigation and Flood Control department and Balram Yadav additional charge of Revenue and many other departments, currently been held by Shivpal Yadav.
The number two in the government, Shivpal Yadav held these plum portfolios whenever the SP was in power.
Shivpal Yadav was reportedly cut up with his nephew for long for many reasons but the latest cut seems to have been the removal of his confidante Deepak Singhal as Chief Secretary earlier on Tuesday.
Soon after, national General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav announced that Akhilesh Yadav, who had been heading the party in the state for more than five years, had let it to a thumping majority in the 2012 assembly polls, and continue to hold the reins even after taking over as Chief Minister in March 2012, would replaced by his uncle and the decision had been taken by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in New Delhi.
Ram Gopal Yadav expressed the hope that the party would scale new heights with his hard work and dedication.
(With IANS inputs)