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Akhilesh 'Tipu' Yadav Emerges as New Sultan of Samajwadi Party

Akhilesh Yadav seems to have effected a bloodless coup in the Samajwadi Party by “elevating” his father Mulayam Singh Yadav to a “margdarshak” (mentor) and anointing himself as the national president of the party.

News18.com

Updated:January 1, 2017, 8:21 PM IST
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Akhilesh 'Tipu' Yadav Emerges as New Sultan of Samajwadi Party
File photo of Samajwadi Party workers rallying in support of Akhilesh Yadav.
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Lucknow: Akhilesh Yadav seems to have effected a bloodless coup in the Samajwadi Party by “elevating” his father Mulayam Singh Yadav to a “margdarshak” (mentor) and anointing himself as the national president of the party.

In a convention called in Lucknow, which was promptly termed “unconstitutional” by Mulayam Singh, the SP faction led by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav made a slew of unilateral decisions that saw Amar Singh being expelled and Shivpal Yadav removed as the state unit chief.

The faction fight in the party that started a month ago had peaked over the weekend with Mulayam and Shivpal suspending Akhilesh and Ram Gopal for six years. The decision was rolled back a day later on Saturday after it emerged that Akhilesh enjoyed the support of over 200 MLAs of the total 223 SP MLAs in the UP Assembly besides majority in the SP organisation.

While announcing the rollback, the elder Yadav duo expected Akhilesh camp to cancel a hastily announced national convention. However, Akhilesh Yadav went ahead with the meet and Ram Gopal made the dramatic announcements to loud cheer from thousands of supporters who had thronged the convention venue at Jnaneshwar Mishra Park in Lucknow.

The Akhilesh camp had been accusing Amar Singh — who was brought back into the party after many years in wilderness — of fomenting trouble within the party. They had hinted that there would be no end to the crisis unless Singh was sacked from the party and Shivpal reined in.

ALSO READ: Akhilesh Yadav May Have Settled Leadership Issue. With Due Respect

The Yadav family crisis had also cast a shadow over the ruling party’s plans to contest the UP assembly polls that are slated to be held in February. Akhilesh had wanted an alliance with the Congress, while Mulayam categorically ruled out any pre-poll tie-up.

Also Read: Mulayam Singh Terms Akhilesh's Decisions as Illegal, Expels Ram Gopal Yadav Again

On Saturday, after the crisis in the SP had come to a head, a top Congress leader had told News18 that his party wanted to have a long-term relationship with Akhilesh. Political pundits believe that with Akhilesh wresting control of the party from his father and uncle, a Congress-SP alliance is now only a matter of time.

If the Mulayam camp stays defiant, the ball will be on the court of the Election Commission that will have to decide which side gets the all important party symbol 'cycle’. SP, incidentally, celebrated its silver jubilee only a month ago.

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