New twists in Yadav family saga: Shivpal expels Akhilesh's close aides

Shivpal Singh Yadav
The war within the first family of Uttar Pradesh, the Yadav clan, intensified on Monday with the newly appointed state Samajwadi Party (SP) President Shivpal Yadav expelling at least seven leaders of SP youth wings, including three legislators.

Most of the expelled leaders are considered close to UP chief minister and Shivpal's nephew Akhilesh Yadav.

These leaders had led the demonstration at the Lucknow residence of SP national president Mulayam Singh Yadav and reportedly raised slogans against him on Saturday to protest the replacement of Akhilesh as SP UP chief with Shivpal.

Talking to the media here, Shivpal asserted indiscipline in the party would not be tolerated at any cost nor any disrepute to the national president.

Those expelled included members of legislative council (MLCs) Anand Bhadauria, Sunil Yadav 'Sajan' and Sanjay Lathar, besides Samajwadi Youth Brigade national president Gaurav Dubey and its UP chief Mohd Ebad, Yuvjan Sabha UP president Brajesh Yadav and Chhatra Sabha state president Digvijay Singh Deo for alleged anti-party activities.

Meanwhile, over 100 odd leaders of the SP youth wings have also resigned from their posts and demonstrated near the VVIP Guest House, a stone's throw from the party office.

With sparks escalating, Akhilesh noted it was the duty of party leaders and cadres to respect the decisions taken by the party's national president Mulayam Singh. He urged the leaders against raising slogans or holding demonstrations. He asked them to work at the grassroots to ensure the victory of SP in the next elections.

On Sunday, Shivpal had removed another MLC Arvind Yadav, who is the nephew of SP general secretary and Mulayam's cousin Ram Gopal Yadav. Another MLC Arvind Pratap Singh and former pradhan of Saifai village Akhilesh Kumar Yadav alias Changdiram was expelled for anti-party activities.

Last week, it took the political deftness of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to broker peace in the Yadav clan, when the ruling party had looked imminently heading towards a vertical split owing to emerging disputes between Akhilesh and Shivpal.

The political drama had started to unfold on September 12 with the sacking of two cabinet ministers viz Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and Raj Kishore Singh, saw the removal of chief secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shipval, a day later.

In sequence of events, Akhilesh divested Shivpal of key portfolios, including Public Works Department (PWD) and irrigation, after Mulayam had suddenly replaced Akhilesh with Shivpal as SP's state unit president.

Deciding not to take things lying down, Shivpal flexed his muscles by resigning from the state cabinet and party posts even as his supporters comprising legislators and senior leaders had started to root for him at his official residence in Lucknow.

Mulayam, who had been putting up in the national capital, rushed back to Lucknow on Sunday to take firsthand stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, Shivpal had also removed Rajendra Chaudhury, who is also a cabinet minister, from the post of party's UP spokesperson and appointed MLC Ambika Chaudhury, considered close to Mulayam, to the post. Besides, Arvind Singh Gope has also been removed from the post of state general secretary.

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