Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav were taken back into the Samajwadi Party on Saturday, a day after they were expelled from Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party by Mulayam Singh Yadav following a political family feud.
Akhilesh has been locked in a dispute with Samajwadi Party chief and his father, Mulayam, and uncle Shivpal Yadav ahead of the key Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
“On Netaji’s (Mulayam’s) orders, Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav’s expulsion from the party stands revoked. We will all fight communal forces together and make a majority government in Uttar Pradesh,” Shivpal tweeted after back-to-back meetings on a politically charged Saturday.
Akhilesh, 43, has been trying to shake off the influence of his father and uncle, finding support instead in his trusted adviser and other uncle Ram Gopal Yadav.
The family conflict came to a head on Friday when 77-year-old Mulayam announced he was expelling his son and Ram Gopal for “weakening the party” he founded in 1992. Mulayam accused Ram Gopal, his cousin, of “ruining Akhilesh’s career”.
The latest round of the crisis was sparked when Mulayam released the names of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, ignoring Akhilesh’s recommendations. The chief minister hit back by releasing his own list of candidates.
“Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav will sit together to make a (poll candidates) list,” Shivpal told ANI on Saturday.
The decision to revoked Akhilesh’s expulsion was taken soon after meetings to broker peace between the SP chief Mulayam and his son were held at the senior Yadav’s residence.
Speaking at a meeting with SP MLAs earlier in the day, Akhilesh said he respected the SP chief whose hard work can’t be overlooked.
Hundreds of Akhilesh Yadav’s supporters clashed with Mulayam’s supporters outside the party office in Lucknow.
Uttar Pradesh is viewed as a critical political player as the state sends the biggest single bloc of lawmakers to the 545-seat Parliament in New Delhi.
Family relations have soured in the run up to the state elections, which are likely in February, with rival members vying for greater control of the party, resulting in several tit-for-tat sackings by Akhilesh and Shivpal of each others’ supporters since August.
Mulayam has sided with his brother Shivpal, often humiliating and snubbing his own son in public.