Lucknow: In what may come as a major shock to gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari and his Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED), the party's merger with the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) has been called off.
Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ramgopal Yadav made the big announcement on Saturday.
He also said that Uttar Pradesh Minister Balram Yadav, who was sacked by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, apparently for facilitating merger, will also be taken into the state cabinet.
The decision was taken in Samajwadi Party's parliamentary board meeting today.
"SP parliamentary board said no to merger and have decided to revoke expulsion of cabinet minister Balram Yadav," Ramgopal told reporters here.
Meanwhile, after a meeting of the state cabinet here, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said, "Merger of Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) with SP is an internal matter of Samajwadi Party."
"There is no displeasure. This is all media creation," he said replying to queries on the issue.
The Chief Minister's comments came against the backdrop of Opposition training their guns at the ruling party especially over the law and order issue, ahead of next year's Assembly polls.
Notably, the development comes days after UP CM had dismissed speculation that he was unhappy with SP embracing gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari's party, saying there is "no displeasure" and it is an internal matter of the Samajwadi Party.
The merger of the two parties earlier was announced on June 21 by Samajwadi Party spokesman and senior Cabinet Minister Shipal Yadav, who is brother of Akhilesh's father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
QED was founded in 2010 by Mukhtar, along with his brothers Afzal Ansari and Sigbatullaha Ansari. The mafia don is in jail for his alleged involvement in the murder of former BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai.