It appears that SP State President Shivpal Singh would never miss a chance to provoke Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Although the tiff between Mulayam’s younger brother and the SP chief's son has brought the party almost till the brink of an undeclared split before Mulayam Singh Yadav intervened to broker peace, Shivpal seems to be in no mood to relent.
On Thursday, Shivpal announced that Quami Ekta Dal (QED) has merged with Samwajwadi Party (SP) and Mulayam ratified the same. “When the national president has ratified it, there should not be any doubts,” Shivpal said, adding that majority of decisions regarding the party is being taken with the consent of Mulayam and Akhilesh.
This announcement is intended as a provocation as the root cause for the rift between the chief minister and the party state president was the merging of QED of Ansari brothers Afzal and Mukhtar from eastern UP with SP. Although Shivpal was in favour of the merger, Akhilesh opposed the same and the dissolution was put on hold. The chief minister was against the merger as Mukhtar Ansari has a criminal record.
The bad blood between Shivpal and Akhilesh began even before the talks of merger. After taking charge of the party, Shivpal had expelled many of the latter's supporters, including Sunil Yadav (MLC), Anand Bhadauriya (MLC) , Mohammed Abad (state head of the SP youth brigade), Brijesh Yadav (state head of Yuvjan Sabha), Sanjay Lathar (MLC), Gaurav Dubey (national head of the youth brigade )and Digvijay Singh, (state head of Yuvjan Chatra Sabha).
Shivpal also manged to get back into the cabinet tainted minister Gaytri Prajapati who was sacked by the chief minister. He was also instrumental in Amanmani Tripathi, son of Amarmani Tripathi, who was convicted in Madhumita murder case, getting a party ticket in the upcoming elections. Amanmani too had his own share of controversies. He has been facing criminal charges for the alleged murder of his wife besides allegations of extortion and kidnapping. Akhilesh has been opposing the entry of such tainted people into the party.
Party sources, on condition of anonymity, said such provocations would adversely affect the prospects of the party in the upcoming assembly elections.