Upstaging Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was on Sunday anointed the Samajwadi Party (SP) president in place of his father at a party national convention in Lucknow which also proposed the expulsion of “outsider” Amar Singh and removal of Shivpal Yadav from the post of UP chief. This is Ramgopal’s second expulsion in three days.
The supremo has termed the national convention as “unconstitutional” and dismissed the proposals passed in it as “illegal.”
Mulayam announced the decision after a meeting of the party’s central parliamentary board here, which was attended by Shivpal Yadav.
The 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 — two men the Chief Minister said were “acting against the party”. Mulayam Singh, whom the convention gave the role of the party “mentor”, has rejected the resolution and called a convention on January 5.
Stung by these “decisions”, Mulayam struck back, issuing a hard-hitting letter that said the national convention had not been convened with permission of the national president and so all decision taken there are illegal.
“The parliamentary board of the party declares all the proposals, decisions and the convention itself illegal and expels Ram Gopal, who convened the convention, for six years,” the letter stated.
The bitter power struggle hit a new low with Mulayam also convening a national convention of the party on January 5 at the same venue here to show people as to who had more clout in the party.
Crisis refused to die down in the party as Akhilesh was “unanimously” crowned the SP national president at the conention a day after over 200 of the 229 party MLAs met him at his residence here at a show of strength which left his father’s camp with barely 20 MLAs.
The proposal to make Akhilesh SP chief was welcomed by a huge applause by party cadres gathered at the sprawling Janeshwar Misra Park raising their hands.
Ram Gopal also moved a proposal to make Mulayam Singh, the founder president of the party, as party patron and removing Shivpal Yadav from the state unit post.
Earlier this morning as soon as the national convention got underway at the park, Mulayam issued a letter declaring the convention as “unconstitutional”. “Today a so-called
convention has been convened by Ram Gopal. This is against party constitution and discipline. This has been convened to damage the party,” Yadav said in the letter.
Although Mulayam warned that participation in the convention will be taken as indiscipline and action will be initiated against those attending it, almost all the senior leaders who had been longtime associates of Mulayam shared the dais with Ram Gopal and Akhilesh.
Soon after being proposed as the national president of the party, Akhilesh said his respect for his father was more than ever and that he would stand against those conspiring against the party.
“Those who conspired against the party, damaged it and also posed problems before the national president…should know that my respect for the national president (Mulayam Singh) will be more than before,” the chief minister said.
“…People might raise questions and level allegations but I said this before and say it again that as his son if there is any conspiracy against the party and him it is my duty to stand against them,” he said.