Dramatic U-turn: Akhilesh, Ramgopal back in SP

LUCKNOW, Dec 31: Faced with an imminent split which could have drastically reduced his clout, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today revoked the expulsion of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Ramgopal, just a day after they were sacked for ‘indiscipline’.
With the writing on the wall loud and clear after Akhilesh mustered an overwhelming majority of party MLAs in his support, Yadav asked his younger sibling and state SP chief Shivpal to announced revocation of the expulsion of the two.
“On the SP supremo’s directive, expulsion of Akhilesh and Ramgopal from SP is being revoked with immediate effect,” the Shivpal Yadav, who has a running feud with the Chief Minister, tweeted after hectic confabulations.
“I am coming after having met party chief Mulayam Singh along with CM Akhilesh Yadav. Netaji has given the order that the suspension orders of Akhilesh and Ram Gopal are terminated with immediate effect,” Shivpal said.
“All of us together will fight communal forces and we will once again form an SP government in UP with full majority. These are my orders. We will hold discussions within ourselves and decide, and prepare for the upcoming elections,” he said.
“All matters have been resolved and we will fight the upcoming polls together. We will all sit togther with Netaji and I am sure all problems will be resolved,” he said.
With the change of scenario, the emergency national convention of the SP, called by SP General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav here tomorrow is likely to become a show of solidarity.
Party insiders said a new list of candidates, bearing the stamp of Akhilesh and his father, might be prepared to present a show of unity in the party which has become synonymous with factional feuds every now and then.
On a day of fast-paced developments, Akhilesh earlier in the day convened a meeting of SP legislators where over 200 of the 229 party MLAs turned up expressing their loyalty with the chief minister, a day after he was expelled from the party for indulging in ‘indiscipline’, pushing the ruling party to the brink of a vertical split.
Some SP MLCs and senior party functionaries loyal to Akhilesh also attended the meeting at the Chief Minister’s official residence at 5-Kalidas Marg.
Senior SP leader and UP cabinet minister Azam Khan then arrived at the CM’s residence and, after a brief stay, they drove to Mulayam’s bungalow a stone’s throw away.
High drama was witnessed outside the Chief Minister’s residence where young supporters of Akhilesh assembled in large numbers to vent their fury over his expulsion and that of his uncle Ramgopal Yadav.
Akhilesh supporters tried to break the cordon outside the CM’s residence and clashed with police.
Some of his loyalists also exchanged blows with supporters of Shivpal Yadav outside the party headquarters in the high-security VIP enclave which looked like a battle zone with heavy police deployment.
As the embattled Samajwadi Party faced its worst ever crisis, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad sought to bring the warring groups together by speaking to Mulayam to broker peace.
Lalu telephoned Mulayam, who happens to be his relative too, to ensure that the feuding leaders buried the hatchet. (PTI)