Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has chosen his brother Shivpal Yadav to manage party affairs, overlooking cousin and party general secretary Ramgopal Yadav.
Sources in the party said he knows selecting Shivpal over Ramgopal, who was once regarded as the most powerful man in the party after Mulayam, has several advantages.
Being a minister holding important portfolios such as PWD, irrigation, cooperative and revenue in the Akhilesh Yadav government, Shivpal, apart from being a vital cog in the government, can also attend to the party leader’s requests. Also, party leaders believe that the cool-headed Shivpal, unlike Ramgopal, is best suited for ending the severe infighting in the party.
Ever since Mulayam handed him the responsibility of putting the party in order, Shivpal is busy touring the state attending meetings and sorting out the differences between local party leaders.
In October, he undertook 17 visits to different parts of state, including the harmony committee visit to riot-hit Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, met cleric Tauqir Raza at Bareilly, Patel Jayanti in Mirzapur and attended party workers meeting in Sant Kabir Nagar. He has already received 112 requests for various party functions in November and December.
“What can I say, I am doing party’s work. You should ask those who invite me for their programmes,” Shivpal said.
The equations have changed in such a way that even Ramgopal has to seek time from Shivpal for inaugurating the newly constructed district panchayat buildings and some roads in Ferozabad, where his son Akshay Yadav is party’s candidate for Lok Sabha elections. Shivpal, however, is yet to allot time for the function.
Ramgopal was earlier snubbed by Shivpal in August when the former had suggested revoking the suspension of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal with a stern message “Sarkar Hain Hum.”
Even senior minister Azam Khan, too, has read the writing on the wall and often meets Shivpal.