Samajwadi Party spokesman Mohan Singh had issued a statement contradicting Akhilesh Yadav's stand on the proposed induction of mafia don turned politician D P Yadav into the party. Sharat Pradhan reports.
In a sudden move Samajwadi Party spokesman Mohan Singh was unceremoniously removed from the coveted position as the party's national spokesperson on Thursday.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav named his cousin and party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav as Singh's replacement.
Significantly, the change comes barely a day after Mohan Singh issued a statement contradicting Mulayam's son and state SP chief Akhilesh Yadav over the proposed induction of mafia don turned politician D P Yadav into the party.
Even as Akhilesh had made it loud and clear before mediapersons that someone like D P Yadav would not be acceptable to him, Mohan Singh went about suggesting that Akhilesh was not competent to take a final call on the issue.
"What the state president (Akhilesh) has said with regard to D P Yadav could be his view, but the final decision on the issues will be taken by the party's national president (Mulayam)," Mohan Singh told TV channels in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The statement kicked up a storm in SP circles in Lucknow as veteran Mohan Singh's view was seen as defiance.
Akhilesh had opposed the move to bring D P Yadav into the party as it would jeopardise all his efforts to re-cast the Samajwadi Party image, which had taken a beating at the last state assembly election on account of its blatant soft corner for outlaws and tainted politicians.
"We will not allow any person tainted with a criminal background to occupy any prominent position in the party and certainly not as a candidate for the next assembly election," Akhilesh told reporters.
Party insiders claimed that Akhilesh's stand was taken well by several SP leaders including Mulayam's younger brother Shiv Pal Yadav, who is also another national general secretary of the party. However, it was Mulayam's veto that everyone was led to accept.