UP assembly polls 2017: Cracks in SP after merger with Qaumi Ekta Dal

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Lucknow, June 22: Hours after jailed politician Mukhtar Ansari-led Qaumi Ekta Dal(QED) announced merger with the ruling-Samajwadi Party, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked his cabinet colleague and Secondary Education Minister Balram Yadav on late Tuesday night.

According to media reports, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh is miffed at the "ongoing parleys" between his party leaders and the party of don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari.

Shivpal Yadav & Akhilesh Yadav

On June 21, Tuesday, PWD Minister and Akhilesh's uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav was present at a joint press conference with QED member Sibgatullah Ansari.

Earlier in the day, Mukhtar Ansari's brother and former parliament member Afzal Ansari met Shivpal Singh Yadav.

Akhilesh is unhappy at the merger, as it would "portray the Samajwadi Party in bad light" in the run up to the state assembly polls, scheduled for early 2017.

Meanwhile, Mulayama's younger brother Shivpal Yadav told media persons, "Everything is fine within the party and it is CM's prerogative to decide who should be assigned what duty & who should be made minister."

"First of all, Quami Ekta Dal wasn't Mukhtar Ansari's party. Afzal Ansari was party president. We have only inducted Afzal Ansari & his brother Sibakatullah Ansari in party (merger), we haven't inducted Mukhtar Ansari", he further said.

The development led to cracks within the party leadership as Akhilesh is likely to rejig his cabinet and leaders like Sharda Prasad Shukla, Ravidas Mehrotra and Sangram Singh would be made ministers.

Mehrotra, an old party hand is said to be unhappy with the leadership on innumerable counts and there are rumours of Shukla going "too close for comfort" with the BJP.

Dreaded gangster-turned-legislator Mukhtar Ansari is currently lodged in Agra jail.

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