Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday sacked the minister of state for higher education Sharda Pratap Shukla, who is contesting the upcoming state Assembly elections on a Rashtriya Lok Dal ticket. A spokesperson for Yadav’s office said state Governor Ram Naik had accepted the chief minister’s recommendation to remove Shukla from the council of ministers, Hindustan Times reported.

The former minister reportedly filed two sets of nomination papers – one as an RLD candidate and the other as an independent – after being denied a ticket by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party. Previously, he was given an SP ticket when Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Yadav was the president of the party’s UP unit. Yadav has fielded Anurag Yadav to contest the elections from Shukla’s Sarojini Nagar seat.

Shukla’s sacking is the latest development in the SP’s internal politics following an ongoing family feud, which saw Akhilesh Yadav taking over the reins of the party. On January 31, Shivpal Yadav said he would form a new party after the election results.

UP’s Assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 11. The votes will be counted on March 11.