Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 05:05 PM IST

BJP questions UP government's majority

Updated: Oct 24, 2016 12:06 IST

New Delhi[India], Oct. 24(ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Monday has questioned the majority of Akhlish Yadav-led government in Uttar Pradesh, even as the Samajwadi Party (SP) was in the grip of a father and son political tug of war.

BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI, "The Samajwadi Party's internal family feud has some serious ramifications in terms of the question that whether the government of Akhilesh Yadav has the majority or not, because the party is clearly divided between father and the son," he said.

"It also confirms that the Samajwadi Party was never interested in governance, never interested in development, or law and order. They were only interested in power and this fight is a pure fight of power, (and) not about serving the people of Uttar Pradesh," he added.

On June 21, Shivpal had announced the merger of the two parties in the presence of Qaumi Ekta Dal President Afzal Ansari, the elder brother of incarcerated mafia don and legislator Mukhtar Ansari. Akhilesh had opposed the decision and the SP parliamentary board had called it off.

On October 1, Akhilesh stripped Shivpal of two other portfolios, social welfare and minor irrigation, and allotted these to other ministers. On his part, Shivpal reiterated that the merger of the Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) into the SP was effective and there was no need of a fresh announcement.

Meanwhile, Shivpal has nominated key aides in the 81-member SP state executive, while showing the door to Akhilesh's confidants.

On October 14, Mulayam, replying to a media query in Lucknow, said the party's parliamentary board and legislators would select the next CM if the SP secured a majority. This put a question mark over the SP's election face.

A day later, party General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, another uncle, but one who supports Akhilesh, wrote a terse letter to Mulayam against not projecting Akhilesh as the CM candidate.

Later, SP national vice-president Kironmoy Nanda had to announce that Akhilesh remained the party's official chief ministerial candidate for the polls. He claimed Mulayam was only referring to the procedure of electing the chief minister. On Sunday, Mulayam sacked Ram Gopal from the party for six years. Shivpal said he was accused of colluding with the BJP.

Against this backdrop, two things stand clear. First, the fissure is too deep to mend in the SP, witnessing a generational shift in leadership. Second, the party has decided to rally behind Akhilesh for the polls, since he remains the best face in the party to project before the electorate.

Akhilesh has now decided to chart his own course on the poll campaign. He has sent a letter to Mulayam on proceeding with the 'Samajwadi Vikas Rath Yatra' from November 3. He said it was earlier scheduled from October 3 but had got delayed, even as other parties had kicked off their respective campaigns.

On Sunday, Akhilesh Yadav, 43, fired Shivpal Yadav, 61, as a minister in his government for the second time in a month. It was seen as a direct challenge to his father, who has been promoting Shivpal over him.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, apparently returning the favour, sacked from the Samjawadi Party, his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, a trusted adviser to Akhilesh. Shivpal Yadav announced Ram Gopal Yadav's expulsion "for colluding with the BJP".

Ram Gopal, who wrote to the SP chief on Saturday, had sought to caution his cousin that he (Mulayam) would be held responsible if the party was defeated in the 2017 assembly polls+ . He also said that Akhilesh was "undoubtedly the most popular leader of SP" and must be made the party's CM face in order to win next year's elections.

In his letter, written on Thursday, Singh alleged that Mulayam's second wife and his brother Shivpal Yadav had been "part of a conspiracy against Akhilesh" since he was nominated as the CM, and urged Mulayam to make way for his son as the party chief. (ANI)