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Mulayam expels son Akhilesh, Ram Gopal from party for 6 years

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday expelled his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav from the party for six years for “indulging in anti-party activities”. He said the party would now elect a new Chief Minister in the poll-bound state.

Also expelled was party General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav who had, earlier in the day, called a national convention of the Samajwadi Party on January 1 following a rift over the list of SP candidates finalised by Mulayam Singh for assembly polls due early next year.

The Akhilesh faction with Ram Gopal Yadav’s support came up with a separate list of candidates, sparking a crisis in the party which appeared virtually heading towards a split as its five year rule in the state draws to a close.

Asserting his authority over the SP, Mulayam said only he, as the party chief, had the right to call a national council meet of the party and nobody else could do it.

“We are expelling both Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from the party for six years. Both of them showed indiscipline…this is to send a strong message that indiscipline won’t be tolerated,” Mulayam told reporters here.

He said that he would decide who would become the Chief Minister of the state in place of Akhilesh, who may have to vacate his seat post expulsion from the party.

“We will decide who would replace Akhilesh,” the SP chief said.

The Yadav patriarch came down heavily on Ram Gopal Yadav and accused him of damaging Akhilesh’s future prospects apart from weakening the party through his activities.

“Ram Gopal has weakened the party. He has no right to call party’s national convention. He is also damaging Akhilesh’s political future, and Akhilesh is not understanding this,” Mulayam Singh said.

Asked if he would reconsider his decision vis-a-vis Akhilesh if his son apologised to him, Mulayam Singh said he would “consider if that happens”.

“Why would Akhilesh apologise?…We’ll see if he does,” Mulayam said.