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No Truce in Samajwadi Party; Akhilesh, Shivpal Cross Swords at Party's 25th Anniversary

File photo of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

File photo of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

A day after the Akhilesh Yadav stripped his uncle Shivpal of key ministerial portfolios, an aide of his drew an interesting analogy with Indira Gandhi trying to break free of the powerful Congress Syndicate in late sixties.

A day after the Akhilesh Yadav stripped his uncle Shivpal of key ministerial portfolios, an aide of his drew an interesting analogy with Indira Gandhi trying to break free of the powerful Congress Syndicate in late sixties.

The turning point in this episode many believe was the October 24th meeting at SP headquarters where Akhilesh confronted his detractors in full public glare. Had he not done that, it probably would have been a different story today.

The meeting was called by uncle Shivpal as a precursor to the preparations for the silver jublee conclave. In a pre-emptive strike Akhilesh summoned legislatures a day ahead of the preparatory meeting. Having secured their support he sacked Chacha Shivpal and three of his close aides.

The battle lines were drawn for the big showdown. Shivpal expanded the invite list for the next days function at party headquarters to fill in the venue with his supporters.

Sources tell CNN News18, that it was also discreetly communicated to the CM aides that his presence at the meeting could lead to trouble due to the bitterness which has ensued out of the internecine war. Media speculated whether CM would attend the meeting in such a surcharged atmosphere.

It was then that Akhilesh and his aides decided to bite the bullet and take things head on. CM's absence it was felt would send a wrong signal and gives an unhindered path to his detractors to turn the political discourse in their favour.

So the Akhilesh camp re-strategised, and at 6am on the D-day, his supporters entered the party office and occupied the front rows well in advance. The Chief Minister defying all speculations drove in at the venue well in advance. He spoke, and he confronted his adversaries within.

And when Shivpal spoke, he was heckled. For someone who held a vice like grip over the organisation, it was an open challenge.

Interesting all this while and quite unlike the media which confined itself to the reportage of optics rather than the politics of the event, the leaders on the stage got a sniff of which way the wind was blowing. And most importantly they got the first sign of where Netaji stood in this whole wrangling.

Shivpal Yadav, when his turn came made two import points in his speech. The first was a direct allegation against his nephew: swearing by Gangajal and his son he said CM was planning to split the party. And then he earnestly pleaded with his brother to give him a free hand to discipline the earring lot.

MSY soaked in everything very quietly. When the leader spoke, he sang peans to the sacrifice made by his brother. He praised Amar Singh. He spoke about Lohia and socialism. He chided Akhilesh.

But, MSY did not utter a word on Shivpal's allegations of nephew attempting to float a new outfit. Nor did he give his brother a free hand in disciplining the errant lot.

Media may have not got the message. Grey haired politicians on the dias did.

Once again on Saturday at that grand Janata conclave in Lucknow, Shivpal reminded Netaji of the sacrifices he has made all these years. He stomped repeatedly on whatever ambitions he had of becoming the CM of UP. He pledged his blood to the party.

Once again a calm and composed Netaji listened in to his brother's plea. Once again he reminded his followers of the work done by Lohia. Once again he patted Shivpal for the hard work he's put in all these years.

And then he moved on to the purpose to having organised this gala conclave: consolidation after implosion.

His son Akhilesh however indicated that the scabbard handed over to him at the function is a sword yet to be sheathed.

first published:November 06, 2016, 08:36 IST