No move to split party, says Akhilesh

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Lucknow, Oct 23: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday ruled out any move to split the Samajwadi Party even as he called himself the rightful successor to his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The 43-year-old Chief Minister reportedly became emotional when he told his supporters that he would also be attending a meeting called on Monday by his father.

akhilesh

"Netaji is not only the leader of the party but also my father and I will always serve him," he said.

Akhilesh Yadav, however, openly targeted Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh for the first time, calling him a "dalal" who is out to break his family as well as the Samajwadi Party.

Legislators who attended the meeting said Akhilesh Yadav accused Amar Singh of acting at the behest of the BJP.

"Anybody who is close to Amar Singh or bats for him cannot be in my cabinet," he told the legislators gathered at his official residence while justifying his decision to sack Shivpal Yadav and three other ministers.

The sacked ministers are known to be ardent supporters of Shivpal Yadav, who is also the state Samajwadi Party chief and known to be close to Mulayam Singh.

Soon after he was shown the door, a second time in a little over a month, Shivpal Yadav dumped his government vehicle and started using his private car, an official said.

Shivpal Yadav then went to meet his elder brother, Mulayam Singh.

Shivpal Yadav is reported to be very livid over his sacking and has told Mulayam Singh that the "immaturity and arrogance" of Akhilesh Yadav cannot be tolerated any longer.

This is the second time in a month that Shivpal Yadav has been sacked by his nephew.

On the first occasion, he was shown the door on September 13 but was taken back after the party chief asked Akhilesh Yadav to revoke his decision.

Akhilesh Yadav, however, retained the PWD portfolio that Shivpal Yadav held earlier.

Soon after the four ministers were sacked on Sunday, senior party leaders rushed to meet both Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.

Independent MLA and controversial minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya met the Chief Minister and later told reporters that people will have to accept the decision of Akhilesh Yadav.

He also urged party leaders and workers to refrain from making public comments against anyone.

In a related development, Transport Minister Gayatri Prajapati, known to be another bone of contention between the two camps, met Akhilesh Yadav twice in two hours.

A source told IANS that Mulayam Singh was cut up with his cousin and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, who in a letter on Sunday morning stoked the fire in the family even further.

In his hand-written letter, timed 6 a.m. and datelined Mumbai, Ram Gopal Yadav has urged party workers to support Akhilesh Yadav as he was the one who would lead them to victory.

"Jahan Akhilesh hai, wahan vijay hai," he wrote.

Those who are opposing the Chief Minister were greedy, corrupt and characterless people and they would not even be able to see the Vidhan Sabha again, he wrote.

This is being seen as an attack on Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav.

Ram Gopal also urged the Chief Minister to embark on his 'yatra' from November 3.

IANS

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