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SP splits as Akhilesh Yadav stages a coup on Mulayam, declared chief

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav staged an unprecedented political coup on Sunday as thousands of his supporters declared him the Samajwadi Party’s national president, and assigned a mentor’s role to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav who hit back and vowed to reestablish his authority.

At an “emergency” convention in Lucknow, about 5,000 supporters — including dozens of MLAs, four MPs and five UP ministers — also “deposed” Mulayam Singh’s brother Shivpal Yadav as the SP’s UP chief and “sacked” Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh from the party.

This is the biggest offensive by the Chief Minister who has been fighting his father and uncle with support from his other uncle and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav, seen to be the man behind Sunday’s meeting.

“Sometimes to protect the ones you love you must make the right decision. What I did today was a tough decision but one that I had to take,” the CM tweeted.

In retaliation, Mulayam Singh expelled on Sunday Ram Gopal Yadav, who had announced the decisions amid a huge applause by party cadres gathered at the sprawling Janeshwar Mishra Park.

Ram Gopal Yadav moved the motions, which were promptly endorsed by party leaders and workers with a roar. Later, Mulayam Singh expelled two more MPs, Naresh Agarwal and Kironmoy Nanda, who attended the meet. Left isolated for the first time, the SP patriarch called a party convention on January 5 in what could be his last-ditch effort to regain control over the party he founded in 1992. Both camps of the Samajwadi parivar have been locked in a bitter feud for greater control of the party, resulting in several tit-for-tat sackings since August.

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