SP 'war' gets ugly, Mulayam expels Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal from party for six years

In a shocking development, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday expelled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years, after they put up candidates against the official nominees and summoned a party meet on Sunday.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Dec 30, 2016, 23:53 PM IST
SP 'war' gets ugly, Mulayam expels Akhilesh Yadav, Ram Gopal from party for six years

Lucknow: In a shocking development, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday expelled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years, after they put up candidates against the official nominees and summoned a party meet on Sunday.

Mulayam's sudden announcement has plunged the party into an unprecedented crisis raising questions over the fate of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

On a day of fast-moving developments, hordes of frenzied Akhilesh supporters, especially the youth, thronged his residence to express their support.

Mulayam's cousin and Rajya Sabha MP dubbed the action against him as "unconstitutional" as it was taken unilaterally.

"The action taken against me is unconstitutional. He (party president Mulayam Singh Yadav) acted even before we could respond to the show cause notice," he told the media.

"All the activities undertaken by the top leadership were unconstitutional including ticket distribution. When President of the party works unconstitutionally, I have all the right as General Secretary of the party to call the meeting," he said.

Making the announcement at a press conference here, Mulayam said the new Chief Minister will be chosen by the Samajwadi Party.

With his brother Shivpal Yadav, who has been at loggerheads with the Chief Minister, by his side, Mulayam said he had taken the action against Akhilesh and Ramgopal to save the party which he had built through hard efforts.

"We have to save the party. The party comes first. That is why we are expelling both Akhilesh and Ramgopal," he said.

He explained that the decision was taken after Ramgopal, in his capacity as general secretary, called an emergency meeting of the party on January 1 and Akhilesh "supported" it.

"How can he (Akhilesh) release the list when the party has declared its candidates? Both Akhilesh and Ramgopal want to finish the party. I will not let it happen. I have built this party through hard work," Mulayam said.

"I had made Akhilesh the Chief Minister with much fanfare," he added.

The Yadav patriarch came down heavily on Ram Gopal Yadav and accused him of damaging Akhilesh's future prospects apart from weakening the party through his activities.

"Ram Gopal has weakened the party. He has no right to call party's national convention. He is also damaging Akhilesh's political future, and Akhilesh is not understanding this," Mulayam Singh said.

Ram Gopal Yadav had earlier in the day called a national convention of the Samajwadi Party on Sunday after Mulayam Singh finalised his list of candidates for the polls in the politically most crucial state.

The Akhilesh faction with Ram Gopal Yadav's support came up with a separate list of candidates, sparking crisis in the Yadav family and the party as its five year rule in the state draws to a close.

SP workers asked to stay away from meet called by Ram Gopal

Toughening its stand against the expelled duo of general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party warned members and leaders of the party to stay away from the "emergency national convention" called by the former.

In a letter to party leaders, the party's Uttar Pradesh chief Shivpal Singh Yadav said the convention was unconstitutional and that they should not travel to the state capital for it or sign any papers with regard to it. He went on to state that anyone from the party who would be participating in the meeting will be considered working against the party and face action.

High alert sounded

A high alert has been sounded across Uttar Pradesh after the ongoing war in the ruling SP turned for worse on Friday with expulsion of Akhilesh and Ram Gopal Yadav.

Officials said instructions have been sent to all District Magistrates and police chiefs following protests by Akhilesh supporters. Security meanwhile has been beefed up outside the SP headquarters in the state capital, the Chief Minister's residence, and the house of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Akhilesh supporters cry injustice

On a day of fast-moving developments, hordes of frenzied Akhilesh supporters, especially the youth, thronged his residence to express their support.

Minutes after the expulsion, hundreds of Akhilesh supporters, waving banners and posters with pictures of the chief minister, gathered outside his 5, Kalidas Marg residence here to show their support to him. They accused the party chief of doing "injustice".

Keeping watch on developments in UP: Governor

Governor Ram Naik said he was keeping a watch on the issue.

"I am keeping a watch on the issue," he told PTI here.

Asked if he viewed the developments as a crisis in the ruling party, Naik refused to comment saying "it is an intra-party issue".

Mulayam should explain why he imposed Akhilesh on UP: BJP

People of Uttar Pradesh have already "expelled" CM Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief should now answer as to why he "betrayed" the state by imposing his son after 2012 polls, BJP said soon after Akhilesh was expelled for six years from the party.

"Akhilesh Yadav has let down the people of Uttar Pradesh with the all-round failures of his government. He has not fulfilled any promise. People are feeling betrayed. Now Mulayam Singh Yadav has expelled him from the party. People have already expelled him due to his governance failures," BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.

"Mulayam Singh Yadav should answer as to why he imposed his son on the state and betrayed it," he said.