More turmoil in SP as Akhilesh backs expelled youth leaders

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Lucknow, Sep 27: Dissension in the Yadav clan again came to the fore today as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav openly supported the Samajwadi Party's youth leaders expelled by state president Shivpal Yadav and called on "experienced leaders" to reconsider the decision.

Shivpal had expelled seven party functionaries, including three MLCs, all considered close to Akhilesh, after assuming charge as state party chief on September 19.

More turmoil in SP

"I will ask experienced leaders of my party to reconsider their decision and take back youths, who were with us from the days of struggle," Akhilesh told reporters here. Sunil Singh Sajan, Anand Bhadauria and Sanjay Lathar, all MLCs, were shown the door for making "derogatory remarks" against party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, indulging in anti-party activities and indiscipline, a party statement had said.

Besides the three legislators, Mohd Ebad, state chief of SP youth brigade, Brijesh Yadav, state president of SP Yuvjan Sabha, Gaurav Dubey, national president of SP youth brigade and Digvijay Singh Dev, state chief of Chatra Sabha were also expelled from the party on similar grounds. "If they had raised slogans, it was in my favour and not against anyone," Akhilesh said.

Read more: Behind the scenes in UP: What triggered the Yadav feud that threatens to split Samajwadi Party?

The Chief Minister's statement came a day after party National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav came out in support of his nephew and expelled MLC Arvind Yadav during his roadshow from Delhi to Saifai (Etawah).

Arvind had been expelled by Shivpal, in his first act as state chief, for alleged involvement in land grabbing and other such activities. The feud between the factions led by Akhilesh and Shivpal had spilled out into the open earlier this month. The Chief Minister had stripped Shivpal of key portfolios on September 13, hours after he was replaced with Shivpal as the state party president.

The dispute had ended on September 17 after Akhilesh restored all but one portfolio of Shivpal and promised to support him as SP's state unit president. The two sides appeared to have reached a truce after the intervention of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Discontent, however, continues to simmer within the Yadav family with supporters of Akhilesh and Ram Gopal being expelled from the party. Akhilesh and Ram Gopal, who is Mulayam's cousin, are said to be on the same page.

PTI 

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