New Delhi, Sept. 11: A key aide of Akhilesh Yadav has been stripped of his post in the Samajwadi Party without the knowledge of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who was informed after the action had been taken.
Sanjay Lathar, a constant on Akhilesh’s “kranti rath” that rolled through the state before the Assembly elections, was sacked as chief of the Samajwadi’s youth wing ahead of the party’s national executive that begins in Calcutta tomorrow. He could face expulsion, sources said.
The decision was taken by Samajwadi president Mulayam Singh Yadav and executed by his cousin and general secretary Ramgopal Yadav.
The “reason” for booting out Lathar, a Jat from Haryana, was that he allegedly used his “proximity” to Akhilesh to swing contracts for himself and his flunkeys and create an “independent” power group, the source said.
“From Noida to eastern Uttar Pradesh, we were besieged with complaints of how he abused the CM’s name to feather his nest,” the source said.
Mulayam wished to make an example of Lathar for other members of Akhilesh’s core group, sources said.
A source close to Lathar said: “The whole thing stinks. Are we to believe that the older ministers are lily white and we alone are tainted?”
Political observers believe the episode reinforces the divide in the party as the entrenched leaders battle to retain their supremacy over Akhilesh and his peers.
Ramgopal had flagged Akhilesh’s name as chief minister. Mulayam’s brother and now minister, Shivpal Yadav, wasn’t too excited and had “reluctantly” agreed to work with his nephew. “Their primary loyalty is to Mulayam,” a source said.
The two-day meeting will adopt political and economic resolutions. The political document is expected to attack the UPA on corruption and price rise despite the growing Congress-Mulayam camaraderie.
Mulayam on Centre
Mulayam appeared to suggest as much, saying today that “you can see there is no clear policy and… we don’t know where they want to take the country.... We are in touch with the government… but there is no direction”.
On Mamata Banerjee, the Samajwadi chief had this to say: “She is hard working, a fighter, stubborn also. She has many good qualities which is why she is chief minister.”