Shivpal gets back portfolios, Samajwadi bitterness remains

shivpal-sp-up-pti SP leader Shivpal Yadav along with his son Aditya Yadav(C) and Gayatri Prajapati (R), addresses supporters outside his residence in Lucknow on Friday | PTI

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday restored the portfolios he snatched from his uncle and party leader Shivpal Yadav after days of bitter power struggle in the party.

After party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav played the peacemaker, Akhilesh Yadav also took back Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati, a Shivpal protege whom he had earlier sacked, sparking the crisis in the Samajwadi Party.

The Chief Minister's Office tweeted that all the departments like Public Works Department, Irrigation, Cooperatives and Revenue were once again back with Shivpal Yadav, younger brother of Mulayam Singh.

Mulayam Singh had already announced the decisions at a meeting of party workers, hundreds of who massed outside Shivpal Yadav's residence earlier in the day shouting slogans against the Chief Minister.

Mulayam Singh finally mediated in the war of supremacy within the party and asked Akhilesh Yadav to roll back his decisions against Shivpal Yadav and Prajapati, party sources said.

Shivpal Yadav also remains the state party chief. It was Mulayam Singh's decision on Tuesday to give him this post after taking it from Akhilesh Yadav that brought about the worst-ever crisis in the Samajwadi Party out in the open.

While the curtains seem to have come down on the four-day-old drama that shook the Samajwadi Party ahead of critical assembly polls next year, many felt that the coldness between the "chacha-bhatija" had not abated.

"The patch up is superficial. The two are set to clash again as Shivpal has won this round though the Chief Minister was adamant on not retreating from his decisions," a senior party leader said.

A visibly satisfied Shivpal Yadav remarked that Akhilesh Yadav still had a lot to learn in politics.

"I have a longer experience with Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav), I have been with Netaji since the age of 15. Everybody can't be the same. Everybody can't become Akhilesh or Netaji or for that matter, Shivpal," Shivpal said at the India TV Conclave here.

He took exception to Akhilesh Yadav's assertion that the "role of outsiders won't be tolerated" and alleged many ministers in the cabinet of Akhilesh Yadav do not do any work.

Shivpal Yadav said his resignation as the state party chief had been rejected by Mulayam Singh. "Where is the feud any more?" he asked.

Asked why Akhilesh Yadav took away his portfolios if he thought his performance was good, Shivpal Yadav said: "Everybody accepts that I have performed better."

Mulayam Singh earlier told party activists that the Samajwadi Party would remain united as long as he was around.

Akhilesh Yadav earlier told India TV: "I am ready to return party posts and even portfolios but I must have the power to distribute tickets because the forthcoming poll is after all a test for me and my party."

Many in the Samajwadi Party appeared to feel that Akhilesh Yadav had been forced to backtrack vis-a-vis Shivpal Yadav by Mulayam Singh.

Earlier, Shivpal Yadav supporters accused Akhilesh Yadav of humiliating Shivpal Yadav and insisted that the Chief Minister should apologize to his uncle by touching his feet.

More than two dozen Samajwadi Party legislators and Uttar Pradesh assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey met Shivpal Yadav.

Some Shivpal supporters also demanded action against party General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, who on Thursday termed Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh as the villain in the entire sordid episode.

Akhilesh said: "It is my responsibility as a son to accept Netaji's decision. I accept Netaji's decision to bring Gayatri Prajapati back into cabinet.

"It is election time. We should all come together and work. There is no fight between Ramgopal Yadav, Akhilesh and Shivpal."

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