Shivpal Yadav plays down reports of rift with SP over Quami Ekta Dal merger

Shivpal said the merger happened with the consent of Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Lucknow: Amid reports that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is upset over Mukhtar Ansari's party merging with the Samajwadi party, Shivpal Yadav, Wednesday, came out in defence of the decision arguing that the don-turned-politician has not been inducted into the party.

“First of all, Quami Ekta Dal wasn't Mukhtar Ansari's party. Afzal Ansari was party president. We have only inducted Afzal Ansari and his brother Sibakatullah Ansari in the party, we haven't inducted Mukhtar Ansari,” Shivpal Yadav said.

On Akhilesh sacking party veteran Balram Yadav as minister over his alleged role in facilitating the entry of the Ansaris into the SP, Shivpal, who is the younger brother of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, said, “Everything is fine within party and it's CM's prerogative to decide who should be assigned what duty and who should be made minister.”

Shivpal added that the merger was carried out with the consent of “Netaji” (Mulayam).

Earlier in the day, Balram Yadav met the CM at his residence. Later speaking to reporters, Balrma, with tears in his eyes, said, “Samajwadi Party is my life. Netaji is not just my chief but his my father, he is my protector.”