Lucknow, Sep 20 Even as the nascent truce in Samajwadi Party appeared to be in shreds with expulsion of his associates, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today put up a brave face saying 'Samajwadi Pariwar' is united to face all challenges.
"Samajwadi Pariwar is as united as it was before and, in days to come, the challenges before the state and the government, as communal forces (which) want to make an entry somehow, will be faced unitedly," the Chief Minister said, a day after his uncle Shivpal, with whom he was locked in a turf war, expelled seven party functionaries, including three MLCs, considered close to him.
Akhilesh, who was flanked by Shivpal, was speaking to reporters after a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by him.
This was the first cabinet meeting after a week-long crisis in the Yadav family which saw the feud between factions led by Shivpal and his nephew Akhilesh coming out into the open.
"The Samajwadi Pariwar will together work to ensure that Samajwadi government returns to power and takes the state in the direction of development and prosperity," said the chief minister. Referring to the feud in the family, the Chief Minister said he wanted to tell all leaders, office bearers and others that "there are no problems in the party".
The chief minister, who is known to take questions from the media, however, made an early exit today.
The war in Uttar Pradesh's first family appeared to be far from over, with Shivpal, who has been made SP's state unit chief by party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in place of Akhilesh, yesterday asserting himself by expelling the party functionaries considered close to Akhilesh.
Protesting against the action, a number of youth office bearers of the party's front wings resigned, claiming that "Akhilesh" is their "undisputed" leader.
While two youths of SP Chatra Sabha (students wing) climbed atop a TV transmission tower here to protest the mass sacking, some "Akhileshwadi" SP youth leaders wrote resignation letters in blood.