Caught between son and brother, Mulayam steps in to defuse SP crisis

Lucknow/New Delhi: The ruling SP in Uttar Pradesh is still battling a raging crisis in the wake of the open war in the first family with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav said to be showing no signs of relenting from their stand.

Backroom parleys were initiated as Samajwadi Party(SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is caught between his son and brother, stepped in to defuse the crisis, meeting Shivpal, whose key portfolios were taken away by the chief minister that triggered the face-off.

The crisis showed no signs of ending but party sources said that the chief minister may be persuaded to relent on the issue of portfolios by returning the key departments.

Under the peace formula said to be be brokered by Mulayam, Shivpal in turn is expected to focus on party affairs in the poll-bound state after the charge of the party unit in the state was given to him yesterday. Akhilesh was removed as SP chief in UP by his father that escalated into a full blown crisis.

Meanwhile, the SP parliamentary board may be convened in the next two days to thrash out the problem that has dented the image of the party and the government ahead of the elections.

Shivpal, who is the younger brother of Mulayam, reached Delhi to meet the party chief at his official residence. In his over four-hour-long meeting, Shivpal explained that in the past four-and-a-half years, he has followed the party supremo’s directions despite having difference of opinion on certain issues.

Mulayam is likely to reach Lucknow on Friday morning amid indications that he may have a one-on-one meeting with Akhilesh there.

Later talking to reporters, Shivpal rejected suggestions that there were differences within the party and the Yadav clan.

“Neither am I angry nor is Netaji (Mulayam). We all are happy…there are no differences,” he said.

As the SP plunged into crisis, the chief minister stayed put in his 5, Kalidas Marg official residence in Lucknow since morning to take stock of the situation and did not attend two official engagements.

Amid differences with his uncle, Akhilesh was combative on the decisions taken by him that have led to internal feuds coming out in the open even as he said that there might be problems in the government, but not in the family.

Akhilesh said that he too will follow the directions of his father.

“If I have taken any decision, it was in consultation with ‘netaji’, but at times one has to apply his own mind and I too took some decisions on my own,” he said.

But to a question, he said, “As far as family is concerned, everyone abides by what ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav) says and will accept his words.”

“There may be problems in the government, but not in the family,” he said on the sidelines of an event at his official residence.

Apparently referring to Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh, who had recently hosted a dinner in Delhi where Deepak Singhal, who was shunted from post of Chief Secretary, was present, Akhilesh asked if “outsiders” interfere, how would the party function.