Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav were reinstated in the Samajwadi Party on Saturday, a day after Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled both of them from the party for six years. “As per Netaji’s [Mulayam Singh’s] directions, the order to expel Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav stands revoked with immediate effect,” state party president and Mulayam Singh’s brother Shivpal Yadav announced on Twitter. “We will form a majority in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly together and fight the communal forces.”
The announcement comes after Akhilesh Yadav claimed the support of 200 of the 229 party MLAs on Saturday. Following the development, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav called for an emergency meeting, which both Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav attended, ANI reported.
The meeting was being seen as a final attempt by the feuding party leaders to reach a compromise on the dispute between them. At his meeting with party legislators on Saturday morning, Akhilesh Yadav said he respected Mulayam Singh, and that his father’s hard work for the party could not be overlooked.
Meanwhile, SP leader Abu Azmi said that those close to Mulayam Singh were giving him wrong advice. Party candidate Ateeq Ahmed said that while he was loyal to Mulayam Singh, Akhilesh Yadav was his choice for chief minister. Ahmed added that he would withdraw his candidature if it was the cause for the rift between the SP’s first family.
Separately, supporters of the chief minister and his father clashed outside the SP’s Lucknow office. On Friday, before he was expelled from the party for six years, Akhilesh Yadav had said he would not contest the upcoming state Assembly elections. Mulayam Singh had also expelled Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle, from the SP for six years for indiscipline and speaking against the party to the media.
Akhilesh Yadav was expelled from the Samajwadi Party soon after Mulayam Singh issued a showcause notice to him for releasing his own list of candidates for the Uttar Pradesh polls, expected to be held in February. The chief minister’s supporters held demonstrations in various parts of the state to protest against his expulsion. Protestors raised slogans against the decision and burned effigies of Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav, with whom the chief minister has been in a feud in recent months.
The chief minister 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. Announcing the expulsion, Mulayam Singh accused his son of not consulting him before releasing his list. “We will decide the chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh,” he had said.
The Samajwadi Party has faced infighting since September, when Shivpal Yadav was appointed 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.