Mulayam Blinks First; Akhilesh Yadav And Ram Gopal Back In The Party

Massive show of strength at the meeting called by Akhilesh Yadav makes it clear that he has popular support.

Mulayam Singh Yadav & Akhilesh Yadav Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (R), Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state Akhilesh Yadav (L) and the party's national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav

Call it a late realisation or pre-planned drama from the politically astute Mulayam Singh. A day after expelling his son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and cousin Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years, the party today announced the decision that they have reversed the expulsion. Akhilesh Yadav's bete noire and the party chief Shivpal Yadav took to Twitter to announce the decision.

Perhaps as a face saver, the party has pointed out that the decision to take back the two leaders in the party was taken after Ram Gopal Yadav agreed to cancel the meeting of party MLAs called by him on January 1.

It is reported that SP's tallest muslim leader Azam Khan paid a key role in bringing peace between the two warring camps. But it is also clear that in a show of strength between the two sides Saturday morning, the younger Yadav showed that he has the popular support. The day began with meetings of party MLAs and senior leaders called by both sides. While less than 20 MLAs and over 60 candidates attended the meeting called by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav at 9 am, the Akhilesh Yadav camp claimed victory with over 190 MLAs out of the 229 party MLAs and senior leaders attending the meeting called at the CMs residence.

Supporters gathered in huge numbers outside the CMs house and clashed with the police. Akhilesh Yadav's supporters also clashed with the supporters of Shivpal Yadav outside the meeting venue called by them.

Azam Khan chose not to attend either of the meetings in a bid to play the peacemaker and met both sides separately. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who is also related to Mulayam Yadav also spoke to him on the phone and requested him to end the crisis by taking the two leaders back in the party.

While the rumors were flying thick and fast that the Akhilesh Yadav camp buoyed by the rising support will form a new party, reports indicate that the chief minister did not give any indications of the same in his meeting with party MLAs. He played the emotional card right and said that he wants to fight the elections by staying in the SP fold and win the assembly this time again for his father. Several other reports indicated that there was a demand to seek expulsion of Amar Singh who is seen to have been the cause of the rift in recent times. Meanwhile Amar Singh is in London and said that he is happy that peace has finally prevailed.

Earlier on Friday, Mulayam Yadav had sacked the two leaders from the party for six years and had said that he is doing it in the interest of saving the party. He had also accused his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav for instigating his son against him and said that he has spoilt the future of the younger Yadav.

As the battle lines were drawn between Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle and party unit chief Shivpal Yadav over selection of candidates for the upcoming UP elections, it was clear that Mulayam Yadav was once again siding with his brother over his own son.

"I made Akhilesh chief minister, and now he does not even consult me," said the visibly hurt father as he announced his son's expulsion on Friday.

While Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav were battling each other since many months, the fight aggravated after Mulayam announced the list of candidates for 325 seats which left several of Akhilesh's loyalists out. Stung by this move, Akhilesh Yadav's camp announced another list of 235 candidates for the upcoming assembly polls in UP. The Uttar Pradesh assembly has 403 seats.

Akhilesh, buoyed by the rising support of young party cadres has projected himself as the protector of good governance and has opposed several candidates chosen by his uncle on the grounds of them having criminal cases against them. Chief among them being a gangster-turned-politician who faces 44 serious criminal charges.

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