SP war boils over, Akhilesh camp declares him party chief; 'sacks' Shivpal

SP war boils over, Akhilesh camp declares him party chief; 'sacks' Shivpal

SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, flanked with his brother Shivpal Yadav, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and actress-turned politician Jaya Prada, met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi in the national capital to stake claim on the symbol.

Earlier on January 1 morning, Mulayam declared the meet as violating the party constitution, and as a retaliatory measure, expelled senior party leader Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, on Monday, asserted that the Samajwadi Party still belongs to him and he enjoys people's support. "Since there are no direct channels of communication open between the father and the son, there's a vacuum, which has been filled by "dalals" (touts), who have succeeded in creating a rift in the family", said Rai, spokesperson of the party.

According to a report in the Indian Express, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh's supporters in the party also claimed that they are not unduly anxious about the prospect of the EC freezing the party's cycle symbol. "Why should we give up on our party?" he said, a day after Akhilesh's supporters stormed into the Samajwadi Party's headquarters in Lucknow and took control of it.

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After removing Shivpal from the state president, Akhilesh camp appointed Naresh Uttam as new Uttar Pradesh unit chief. Perhaps the party chieftain believes that Akhilesh Yadav does not have what it takes to steer the party to an Assembly win in 2017.

However, just on Saturday night, Akhilesh, after being reinducted into SP, had told supporters that they must "save the party" and that "Mulayam Singh is your leader, but he is both my leader and my father". Professor Ram Gopal Yadav has emerged as the strategic mastermind of the Akhilesh camp. "But let it be known that Akhilesh himself is the symbol of the election", he added. "There is no importance of party for me", Amar said. Given that the UP assembly elections are round the corner, the EC may also freeze the "cycle" symbol.

"... People might raise questions and level allegations but I said this before and say it again that as his son if there is any conspiracy against the party and him it is my duty to stand against them", he said.

CM, Akhilesh has called a meeting of all party MLAs, MLCs and leaders at his residence.