Shivpal Yadav denies reports of rift within SP, says all is well

New Delhi [India], Sep. 14 : Asserting that there was absolutely no rift in the Samajwadi Party, Shivpal Yadav, who was stripped of key portfolios, said he will abide by the directions of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, adding that he was happy with his new responsibilities.

Speaking to ANI here, Yadav said he has been briefed of his new responsibilities by the party leadership, which include assuring the victory of the SP in the state polls.

"There never was any question of disgruntlement in the first place. Whatever responsibility the party gives me I have to follow. I am happy with my new position, it is quite significant," Yadav said. While commenting on the decision taken by Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal said it is a right of a chief minister to select their cabinet ministers and to assign them the responsibility and the Uttar Pradesh chief has done the same.

Akhilesh Yadav yesterday divested Shivpal of all important ministerial portfolios including PWD, irrigation, cooperative, flood control and revenue and handed him the social welfare department.

Prior to it, Shivpal had replaced him as its new chief in Uttar Pradesh on the instructions of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The development came hours after Akhilesh shunted out state chief secretary Deepak Singhal, considered close to Shivpal and replaced him with Rahul Bhatnagar.

Disagreements between Akhilesh and his uncle have been reported on several occasions, including on the choice of official to be appointed as the state's chief secretary after Alok Ranjan's term ended and the postponement of Quami Ekta Dal's merger with the Samajwadi Party.

The move comes at a time when the state is gearing up for assembly elections which is scheduled to take place next year.

Source: ANI