Mulayam’s cousin backs Akhilesh, says SP leadership erred

Amid the raging feud in Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav on Thursday said the leadership had committed a “mistake” by removing Akhilesh Yadav as party’s UP president and that “differences” had arisen due to some “misunderstanding”.

Ramgopal, SP national general secretary and Mulayam’s cousin, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow in a bid to defuse the situation after the CM stripped his uncle and Cabinet Minister Shivpal Yadav of key ministerial portfolios, hours after Mulayam replaced him with Shivpal as the party’s state unit chief.

“Differences do take place on some minor point and they can be resolved…. The leadership, though not deliberately, had made a mistake when CM was removed from the post of (state) president (of SP),” Ramgopal, who is known to be close to Mulayam’s son Akhilesh, told reporters before the meeting.

“He (CM) should have been asked to resign and he would have tendered it. He could have been told that elections are coming and you continue as CM and the work of state president will be taken care of by him (Shivpal). Some misunderstanding has taken place and there is nothing more to it,” he said.

He asserted that there is “no crisis” in Samajwadi Party.

“Many times some decisions are made due to which people feel that there is some problem in the party. There is nothing like that. This happens in all parties in different situations,” Ramgopal.

When asked about the CM’s statement that he has taken some decisions on his own, Ramgopal said, “Whatever decisions the CM has taken were on the directions of party president (Mulayam). Some decisions, he (CM) said, he has taken himself. It is not unnatural that a CM of a state like Uttar Pradesh takes some decisions on his own. It is natural… he should take decisions”.

When asked about reports suggesting that Akhilesh will be made working President of SP for damage control, Ramgopal said, “It’s simply gossip.”

“When netaji (Mulayam) is president, there is no such question.”

Asked about the CM’s statement regarding role of “outsiders” in the family tussle, Ramgopal said, “I will talk to the chief minister as to what he wanted to say…. But there is a general perception in party workers, leaders and people about this….”

On the talk of party’s Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh’s alleged role, Ramgopal said, “When you have come to conclusion, what can I say…. I will let you know later.”

Shivpal, who is the younger brother of Mulayam, had on Wednesday reached Delhi to meet the party chief at his official residence.

An indication that the crisis in the SP lingered on came when Shivpal told Mulayam that despite following his orders, he was being painted as a villain.

Later talking to reporters, Shivpal had rejected suggestions that there were differences within the party and the Yadav clan.

“Neither am I angry nor is Netaji (Mulayam). We all are happy…there are no differences,” he had said.

Mulayam is likely to reach Lucknow on Friday morning.

Asked about another report of national parliamentary board meeting of the party, Ramgopal said that there is not need for it.

“When has it been called? I am the secretary of parliamentary board and I call the meet. It is called when there is an issue of removing anyone or deciding tickets of Rajya Sabha, Vidhan Parishad…there is nothing like that,” he said.