Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav staged a coup at a national convention he called, where his supporters declared him the new chief of Samajwadi Party in place of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
A gathering of nearly 5,000 supporters and legislators deposed Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Yadav from the post of the party’s state chief and “sacked” politician Amar Singh — seen as CM’s top adversaries in the party.
Earlier on January 1 morning, Mulayam declared the meet as violating the party constitution, and as a retaliatory measure, expelled senior party leader Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years.
The “national executive” meeting also saw massive participation from within the party, with Akhilesh’s supporters cheering and shouting slogans. The convention also proposed that Mulayam Singh should play the role of “chief mentor” in the party.
“Mulayam Singh continues to hold the highest position for the party and me. If there’s a conspiracy against Mulayam, it’s my responsibility to get to its root,” Akhilesh told the gathering of party workers and followers in Lucknow.
“The whole country should understand that I will respect Netaji (Mulayam Singh) more than ever…if people are conspiring against Netaji it is my duty to act against them,” Akhilesh Yadav said.
The UP CM also said party had been steadily losing ground and believed his father would “be the happiest” if the Samajwadi party returned to power in UP, where elections will be held soon. He was possibly targeting his uncle and Mulayam Singh’s younger brother Shivpal Yadav.
The Akhilesh Yadav camp accuses Amar Singh of instigating Mulayam Singh against his son.
Party cadres and block presidents of the SP were also instructed to turn in signatures backing Akhilesh’s appointment as SP national president to show he has the majority support within the party.
Ram Gopal Yadav said the Election Commission will be informed about the decision, immediately. The senior SP leader also said that the decision to call an emergency national convention was necessitated by “unconstitutional” decision taken by state president Shivpal Yadav, without taking Mulayam Singh Yadav into confidence.
The decision comes barely a day after Mulayam revoked Akhilesh’s suspension in the party after the CM came up with a parallel list of 235 his own candidates. Mulayam Singh’s list had not only left out leaders close to Akhilesh Yadav, it also included candidates with criminal backgrounds — recommended by Shivpal Yadav – despite vehement opposition from the Chief Minister.