Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday expelled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav from the party for six years. The chief minister had released a list of his own candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. “We will decide the chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh...Akhilesh did not consult me,” he said. Mulayam Singh also expelled Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav’s cousin, from the party for six years for indiscipline and speaking against the SP to the media.
His announcement came soon after he issued a showcause notice to his son for issuing his own list of candidates. Akhilesh Yadav had released a list of 235 candidates on Thursday, a day after his father had named his nominees for 325 of the state’s 404 Assembly seats, denying tickets to several ministers who supported the chief minister.
State Governor Ram Naik has said he is keeping a close eye on developments after Yadav was expelled. SP spokesperson Juhi Singh resigned in support of the chief minister, following his expulsion.
On Friday, Ram Gopal had alleged that Mulayam Singh was being advised by people in the party who had vested interests. “An understanding seems unlikely now,” he had told ANI. He has called for an emergency national executive meet of the party on January 1 and urged all members to participate. “It is unconstitutional to expel someone without listening to them just hours after issuing a showcause notice,” he said after his expulsion.
At a press conference, where he was joined by Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam Singh accused Ram Gopal of indiscipline and of trying to “weaken” the chief minister. “How can he call for an emergency national executive without my permission?”
It is unclear whether Akhilesh Yadav’s candidates will stand against those from Mulayam Singh’s list or whether they will stand under the Samajwadi Party’s symbol, a cycle. The state elections are expected to be held around February.
The Samajwadi Party has faced infighting since September, when Shivpal Yadav was selected the state SP chief. Akhilesh Yadav had then relieved Shivpal, his uncle, of his Cabinet portfolios, once in September and again in November. Despite intervention from Mulayam Singh, the rift in the party has remained, with Akhilesh Yadav’s supporters reportedly functioning independently out of a separate office in Lucknow.