UP polls: Truce in SP as Mulayam takes back Ram Gopal

LUCKNOW (TIP): Over three weeks after expelling him from the SP on charges of anti-party activities, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Nov 17 revoked the expulsion of his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav and also reinstated him to all posts that he used to hold.

am Gopal (70), who was shown the door last month in the midst of a raging feud in the Yadav clan, will continue as leader of SP in the Rajya Sabha, Mulayam said in a release in Lucknow. He added that Ram Gopal will also stay on as the SP national general secretary, spokesperson and a member of the SP central parliamentary board.

State SP chief Shivpal Yadav, who had announced Ramgopal’s expulsion on October 23, said he would abide by all directives of Netaji (Mulayam).

Speaking to mediapersons, Ram Gopal, who is a cousin of Mulayam and Shivpal, said he was happy with the decision and called it his “comeback” in the party.

“Mulayam cannot take any decision against me from the core of his heart…that is why he revoked the decision. I was technically not expelled from the parliamentary party. I was member of Samajwadi Party,” he said.

“It’s my comeback in the party. This is Netaji’s (Mulayam’s) ‘kripa’, he was never against me. I will work as per the directions of the party. I have always worked as a disciplined worker… I have always been part of the Samajwadi Party. I will always be in the Samajwadi Party. Now that I am officially back, I thank Netaji,” said the Rajya Sabha MP.

The development comes a day after Ram Gopal’s fiery speech in Rajya Sabha, where he represented SP in the debate on the government’s sudden ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and its impact on people. Ram Gopal was sacked on October 23, hours after Shivpal and three other ministers considered close to him were sacked from the state cabinet by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Shivpal had announced the expulsion a few hours after Ram Gopal issued a letter to SP workers alleging that a group within the party wanted Akhilesh to face defeat in Assembly elections next year. Within hours of Ram Gopal’s letter, Akhilesh had sacked Shivpal along with his close aides— Om Prakash Singh, Narad Rai and Syeda Shadab Fatima — from his cabinet. Shivpal had then alleged that Ram Gopal was “hand-in-gloves with the BJP and has already met a senior BJP leader thrice because his son and MP Akshay Yadav, daughter-in-law and he himself are involved in a scam with former chief engineer of NOIDA, Yadav Singh, who had been arrested”. “To save himself from CBI, he is doing conspiracy on the directives of BJP. He is running a campaign to weaken Netaji and Samajwadi Party. The chief minister is not understanding these conspiracies. He should understand who is his blood relatives and who is his well-wisher,” Shivpal had said, adding that Ram Gopal had always insulted SP leaders and workers.

After his expulsion, Ram Gopal, in a statement, had denied the charges. He had said that “Mulayam was surrounded by demonic powers and would realise the reality when he gets free from such powers”. He had added that whether he remains in the SP or not, he was with Akhilesh in the ‘dharmayudhha’ and will remain with him till he becomes chief minister for the second time.

Ram Gopal had stated that he was not disappointed with his expulsion but was pained at the “cheap” allegations leveled against him. “Meeting leaders of other parties is not a crime… I had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi too with Mulayam to invite him for a family function in Saifai,” he had added.

A few days ago in Lucknow, Mulayam had said that he gives no importance to Ram Gopal’s words. In an emotional outburst at a press conference in his native place in Etawah on Monday, Ram Gopal had virtually broken down, saying injustice had been meted out to him as he trashed the corruption charges levelled against him. He had demanded that SP should withdraw the expulsion of various leaders who were shown the door in the past two months in an “unconstitutional manner”. Alleged that Assembly tickets were being distributed by ignoring Akhilesh, Ram Gopal had then demanded that Mulayam should declare Akhilesh as the party’s CM face in the 2017 polls.