Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

How ‘Chacha-Bhatija’ ties turned sour

- Pankaj Jaiswal pjaiswal@hindustant­imes.com

If one goes to Saifai in UP’s Etawah district, the story of ‘chacha-bhatija’ relation between SP’s new state president Shivpal Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav will sound like a fable. Elsewhere, it is bitter.

“Shivpal ne Akhilesh ko paala hai, Netaji ke paas rajneeti ke alawa kisi cheez ke liye waqt nahin tha (Shivpal brought up Akhilesh up, Mulayam never had time for anything other than politics),” say people in Saifai.

It was Shivpal who was Akhilesh’s local guardian in Saifai.

He sent Akhilesh to school and fetched him back. Akhliesh’s fondness for Shivpal was natural. It went on like this even when Akhilesh stepped into politics in 2000 and won Kannauj Lok Sabha bypolls.

But their relation started getting sour after 2009 when Shivpal was the state president of the party. Mulayam was not happy with the 2009 Lok Sabha polls results, though the party had performed far better than how it fared in 2014.

Mulayam removed Shivpal from the state presidents­hip and installed Akhilesh as the new state SP chief.

Akhilesh, who consolidat­ed the party’s youth cadre in his long tenure as the national president of all the youth wings of the party, went on an intense campaign through bicycle ‘yatras’ and ‘Kranti rath’. The party came to power with a thumping majority for the first time in 2012.

This was the origin of the strained relationsh­ip between Shivpal and Akhilesh.

Mulayam, influenced by national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, propped up Akhilesh to the chief minister’s chair while uncle Shivpal overtly wanted Mulayam to be the chief minister and covertly wanted the position for himself.

The situation has not changed since then and bitterness


between the two continues.

When Mulayam made Shivpal Yadav the Uttar Pradesh incharge of the party four months ago, Shivpal was happy, Akhilesh was not.

Shivpal started fielding candidates of his choice and Akhilesh never attended any of the press announceme­nts of lists of party candidates for 2017 assembly elections.

The situation worsened when on June 25, Shivpal played a key role in the merger of the party of criminal-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, Quami Ekta Dal (QED), into the SP. Akhilesh opposed the move.

Things went out of Mulayam’s hand when on August 14, Shivpal said in Mainpuri: “I will resign...I am being humiliated. There is a conspiracy against me.”

Considerin­g this an imminent rift in the party, Mulayam took Shivpal’s side and reprimande­d the Akhilesh government. Shivpal had said that officers were not listening to him.

Akhilesh was not happy with the new chief secretary, Deepak Singhal, who was Shivpal’s right-hand man in the state bureaucrac­y.

A series of developmen­ts ensued since Monday. First Akhilesh sacked two ministers, Gayatri Prasad Prajapati and Raj Kishore Singh. Raj Kishore was Shivpal’s favourite.

On Tuesday, Akhilesh removed chief secretary Deepak Singhal. Mulayam made Shivpal the state president of Samajwadi Party.

Hours later, Akhilesh retaliated by taking away key portfolios from Shivpal further precipitat­ing the situation.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India