The rift within the ruling SP in Uttar Pradesh continued on Wednesday as Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met close aides and confidants, even as uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav flew off to Delhi to meet party President Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Akhilesh cancelled all official engagements and huddled with close aides and party confidantes, while uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav rerouted his trip for Lucknow to Delhi.
As both leaders continued hardening their stance, Samajwadi Party General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav was slated to reach Lucknow to pacify Akhilesh.
In a press conference at his native village in Saifai, Shivpal said he would not say anything for the time being but would continue to do whatever his elder brother Mulayam wanted of him.
Shivpal said, "I am bound by the orders of Netaji (Mulayam Singh)," clearly indicating his alignment with Mulayam rather than his nephew.
Akhilesh had divested him of plum portfolios in the state government on Tuesday.
Shivpal said people of Uttar Pradesh were with "Netaji and the Samajwadi Party". He added that there was no one in the party who would dare to go against Mulayam.
This was seen as hardening of his stand against Akhilesh, whom he replaced as state party chief on Tuesday.
The entire episode was triggered after Akhilesh sacked two ministers—Gayatri Prajapati (Mining) and Rajkishore Singh (Panchayti Raj)—considered close to Mulayam and Shivpal on Monday.
Akhilesh had also removed Chief Secretary Deepak Singhal on Tuesday.