Mulayam-Akhilesh rift deepens: Ram Gopal sacked as Lohia Trust secretaryLast updated on Sep 22, 2017, 02:42 pm
The feud within the SP seems to have deepened as Mulayam Yadav has sacked cousin and Akhilesh-loyalist Prof Ram Gopal as Lohia Trust secretary and replaced him with trusted brother Shivpal Yadav.
Though Akhilesh has become SP's national president, Mulayam remains the chairman of the Lohia Trust.
The trust looks after SP offices and spreads Ram Manohar Lohia's ideology throughout the country.
Who is Ram Gopal Yadav?
Ram Gopal is a Rajya Sabha MP and SP's important leader, who is consulted on important decisions, makes organizational appointments and picks people who will stand in elections. Regarded as the national face of SP, Ram Gopal has put his weight behind Akhilesh in the feud.
A brief history of the feud
The SP feud began when Mulayam appointed Akhilesh CM and overlooked brother Shivpal in 2012. Fissures increased after Akhilesh and Shivpal clashed on various issues, including the chief secretary's appointment.
Even as disagreements increased, in January'17, before Assembly elections, Akhilesh was made SP's national president in an emergency convention called by uncle Ram Gopal.
Since then, Mulayam has taken a backseat in the party.
Having lost party's hold, Mulayam shows his power through Trust
Though Ram Gopal is no longer secretary, he continues to be a member. Mulayam had earlier sacked other Akhilesh loyalists, including Ahmed Hasan and Ram Chowdhury, from the Trust.
This is the second consecutive time that Akhilesh and Ram Gopal haven't attended a Trust meeting.
After being appointed secretary, Shivpal said Mulayam may make crucial announcements in a September 25 press conference.
Meanwhile, what has Akhilesh been up to?
Akhilesh has consistently ignored his father's barbs of "betrayal."
He created a Janeshwar Mishra Trust and announced himself chairman in October during the feud's initial stage.
Though he didn't comment on his father's actions, Akhilesh attacked CM Adityanath on his "white paper" detailing SP's failures saying that 'Yogi can't handle politics in the way that he can't handle mantra recitation and pujas.'
Is SP heading for a split?
Shivpal said he hasn't been invited to the party's state convention on September 23 and national convention on October 5.
These actions show that Akhilesh and Mulayam continue to play a game of one-upmanship.
They may have to decide "who's boss" soon, or else the party's dismal Assembly performance combined with internal politics may reduce members' morale, which may prove detrimental for the party.