Akhilesh meets Governor; Shivpal expels CM’s supporter

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi/Lucknow | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 26, 2016

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav meets Governor Ram Naik in Lucknow, on Wednesday   -  PTI

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday met Governor Ram Naik, reportedly to brief him on the political situation in State, where a bitter internal feud has plagued the ruling Samajwadi Party.

While the meeting was officially described as a “courtesy call”, the prevailing political situation in the State reportedly figured during the 15-minute interaction. “The Chief Minister called on the Governor to wish him ahead of Diwali as Naik will be out of station during the festival,” a Raj Bhawan spokesman said.

Akhilesh left for the Raj Bhawan abruptly in the midst of a meeting he was holding with party legislators and senior leaders to finalise the details of his proposed ‘rath yatra’ that begins on November 3. The Chief Minister has clearly rallied forces as the feud in his family still raged, with as many as 205 of the party’s 225 legislators reportedly backing his claim to power.

Before proceeding to meet Naik, Akhilesh told his youth supporters and party workers to “transcend differences and gear up” for his ‘rath yatra’ and also the SP’s silver jubilee celebrations in Lucknow on November 5. “You all should highlight works done by the SP government since 2012. We have to seek votes in the name of development, which topped our government’s agenda,” he reportedly told them.

Axed ministers to stay out

The CM is said to have indicated to close confidants that he was in no mood to take back the four ministers he had sacked, including his uncle Shivpal Yadav, who is the SP’s State chief and his bête noire. Shivpal has already surrendered his official vehicles and was in the process of vacating his official bungalow.

Shivpal also met party supremo and Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav before leaving for Delhi, where he will be extending invitation to all “like-minded” socialist and Lohiaite leaders for the November 5 event. The move is apparently part of efforts to club together a possible umbrella coalition ahead of next year’s Assembly polls.

Shivpal sacks Minister

On his part, Shivpal mounted yet another offensive against Akhilesh by sacking Tejnarain Pandey alias Pawan Pandey, a vocal supporter of the CM and a junior minister who had reportedly thrashed Amar Singh loyalist Ashu Malik.

Ashu Malik has been accused by Akhilesh of “planting” biased news reports against him in a newspaper.

“Pawan Pandey is being expelled from Samajwadi Party for six years on charges of indiscipline,” Shivpal announced at a press conference in the morning. Shivpal said he has written a letter to the Chief Minister requesting him to sack Pandey from his ministry.

Meanwhile, a hoarding of SP General Secretary Amar Singh, who is at odds with the CM, surfaced in Lucknow. The poster, in which Singh’s face was replaced by that of a dog, sarcastically read, “I am expert in breaking homes.” But soon after the photo went viral on social media, the hoarding was brought down.

Published on October 26, 2016
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