Akhilesh strips Shivpal of important portfolios

Akhilesh strips Shivpal of important portfolios

Akhilesh strips Shivpal of important portfolios

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday divested senior leader Shivpal Singh Yadav of several important portfolios after he replaced the former as the Samajwadi Party (SP) Uttar Pradesh unit president.

Barely a couple of hours after SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav nominated Shivpal, Akhilesh hit back by withdrawing Public Works Department, irrigation and two other portfolios, leaving his uncle, Shivpal, with a few relatively insignificant ministries.

The portfolios held by Shivpal were allotted to other ministers while Akhilesh decided to keep the PWD portfolio with himself. Shivpal held as many as 10 ministries.

According to the sources in the SP, Shivpal could announce his resignation from the Cabinet in protest against Akhilesh’s action.

Sources said the move by Akhilesh was to register his protest against his removal as the state unit president. The SP had gone into the 2012 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh under Akhilesh’s leadership.

The decision to nominate Shivpal as the president came amid reports of rift in Mulayam’s ‘political family’, which came to the fore recently when Shivpal had threatened to resign over his own government’s “failure” to check “land grabbing” by party leaders and resolve problems of the people.

Mulayam had then defended Shivpal and had warned that the party would be in “deep trouble” if Shivpal resigned.

The SP leaders here said the decision was aimed at pacifying a sulking Shivpal and also enable the chief minister to have a free hand in running the government.

“Shivpal is an experienced organiser and could be useful in energising the party workers,” said a senior SP leader here.

Shivpal had been sulking after being snubbed by Akhilesh over the merger of mafia don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Quomi Ekta Dal with the SP a few months ago. Shivpal had played a crucial role in facilitating the merger. Akhilesh, however, forced Mulayam to revoke the merger saying it would send a wrong message to the people in the poll bound state.

One of the two ministers who was sacked by Akhilesh on Monday, was also considered to be close to Shivpal.

Deepak Singhal, who was shunted out as chief secretary of the state on Tuesday, too, was known to be close to Shivpal.

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