The Samajwadi Party (SP) appeared to have plunged into another crisis on Monday after several senior youth wing leaders tendered their resignation, following the expulsion of seven functionaries considered close to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Among those expelled by newly appointed SP state unit president Shivpal Singh Yadav were three MLCs. Shivpal, who is Akhilesh’s uncle, showed the door to Sunil Singh, Anand Bhadauria and Sanjay Lathar, all MLCs, and four presidents of the party’s youth wings on charges of anti-party activities.
These leaders were among those who had held a demonstration in front of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence here in support of Akhilesh and demanded his reinstatement as state president.
The expulsions triggered huge resentment among the youth wings, and the party was flooded with resignations from over a dozen leaders of its various frontal organisations, including the students’ wing.
Hundreds of youth wing leaders and workers also held a demonstration near the SP office here. Two leaders climbed a nearby mobile phone tower, sending the police into a tizzy.“We consider only Akhilesh as our leader...,” said Brijesh Yadav, state president of Yuvjan Sabha, who was among the expelled leaders.
Shivpal clarified that these leaders had raised slogans against Mulayam and, hence, were punished. Akhilesh, however, appealed to the youth wing leaders not to resign and follow the directives of Mulayam.
''We all have to work for the victory of the party in the forthcoming assembly polls,'' he said. Shivpal had on Sunday expelled SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav's nephew and MLC Arvind Pratap Yadav from the party following allegations of land grabbing and ''patronising'' illegal liquor mafia.
Ram Gopal's son and party MP Akshoy Pratap sharply criticised the action. According to sources in the SP here, the resignations by the youth wing leaders could be a ploy by Akhilesh to ''pressure'' Shivpal and prevent him from shunting out the former's supporters from the party.
Sources said Shivpal would undertake a major rejig of the state unit and some more Akhilesh loyalists too could be shown the door.