As the rift in the ruling Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh deepened, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was reprimanded by his father and party supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav at a party meeting held in state capital Lucknow today. The meeting was held a day after the chief minister sacked uncle and senior party leader, Shivpal Yadav from the cabinet.
In a stern warning to son Akhilesh, Mulayam said the former "has lost his mind" after getting the chief minister's chair. "Drunkards, goons have been added to the party. You get some power and it goes to your head. Few leaders know nothing except flattery. Some ministers are just busy being sycophants and the people who can't think big, can't be a minister," he was quoted as saying by Indian news agency ANI.
Mulayam also gave Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's example to him saying: "Look at Prime Minister Modi, he became the PM with dedication and struggle. He comes from a poor family, says he can't leave his mother."
The party meeting at the Lucknow party office witnessed a heating exchange between the members of state's first family with state elections just a couple of months away in the northern state.
"I am extremely upset with the rift within the party. I know it's a difficult situation. Those who can't take criticism cannot become leaders," Mulayam said.
"We are fighting among ourselves. We should decrease our differences. Those who are indulging in sloganeering will be thrown out of the party. I have given respect to the youth and no one else," he added.
Earlier in the day, protests erupted outside Lucknow party office between the loyalists of the chief minister and Shivpal Yadav. This is the second time that Shivpal has been sacked from the party.
Indian PM urges electorate to get rid of regional parties
As he addressed a rally in in Mahoba, a district in Bundelkhand area of UP, Indian Prime Minister today urged the people to break the cycle of the regional parties --Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party -- getting elected again and again in the state, ANI reported.
Saying that people should try to make Uttar Pradesh an "Uttam (best) Pradesh", Modi said: "The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party both loot in their own turns, and when the other comes to power they never take action against the other. SP-BSP-BSP-SP. The power keeps shifting, and in this game, this land never reached its potential. You have faced enough. If you want to escape this trap then you need to get out of this trap of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. Let's break the cycle of SP-BSP and choose instead to make Uttar Pradesh an "Uttam Pradesh". "
Escalating his attack on the Samajwadi Party, the Prime Minister said the farmers in Mahoba have faced grave injustice as this land is capable of reaping gold but farmers got no water.