The Samajwadi party (SP) fiasco that dramatically unfolded on December 30 with the expulsion of Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and senior leader Ramgopal Yadav ended with a whimper.
On Saturday afternoon, state SP chief and Akhilesh’s main rival, Shivpal Yadav, announced that the decision to expel the two leaders has been revoked with immediate effect, belying all speculations of a party split.
“On Mulayam’s orders, their expulsion is revoked. We will fight communal forces together and form a full majority government in Uttar Pradesh,” Shivpal told ANI.
The reversal of decision came after Akhilesh and senior party leader Azam Khan met the party chairman Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday morning. Khan, who is an opponent of Amar Singh, just like Akhilesh, but is equally close to Mulayam, is being said to have brokered peace between the father and the son.
Interestingly, soon after the expulsions, the party’s two factions stood clearly polarised and expressed strong sentiments against each other. Both groups claimed to fight the elections alone and win.
However, the equations changed on Saturday morning when Akhilesh dispalyed a much stronger support base, with most party MLAs and a huge crowd turning up at the chief minister’s residence. At the same time, only 12 MLAs and a small section of Mulayam supporters turned at the party office in a separate scheduled meeting, according to sources.
Both the factions had called for a meeting of supporters on Saturday. However, while Akhilesh conducted it successfully, Mulayam postponed it because of the poor show of support towards him.
This, according to sources, convinced Mulayam to take his son back into the party fold. Azam Khan’s presence only helped him revoke his previous decision.
As yet another dramatic spat in the SP looks close to resolution, the thorny issues remain and are bound to crop up in future. The tussle between the two factions while choosing candidates for elections – which became the flash point of the current controversy – will be a contentious matter in the days to come. Whose candidates will be preferred and will there be a truce between the two groups are questions to wonder about at the moment.
However, political analysts said that Akhilesh had emerged stronger after the episode and Shivpal had to swallow the bitter pill yet again. It remains to be seen how SP chief Mulayam tackles these immediate issues, the impact of which can be disastrous for the SP in the upcoming elections.