Akhilesh offers to step down

Akhilesh broke down while addressing a meeting of party legislators, ministers and MPs convened here by Mulayam Singh Yadav at the party headquarters, outside which supporters of rival SP factions exchanged blows prompting police to use force to disperse them.
Akhilesh offers to step down
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav


Amid protests from his supporters, Akhilesh offered to step down as CM if Mulayam so desired. “Let ‘netaji’ (Mulayam) install a chief minister who he feels is honest,” he said. “Why should I form a new party?” he posed in an emotionally choked voice. 
At the meeting Akhilesh said all these years he had toiled hard for the welfare of the people. “ Merey pita, merey guru hain (my father is my guru)” he said. The Chief Minister said many people were trying to create divisions within his family using various machinations and that he had taught himself how to oppose any wrong doing. His uncle Shivpal was present at the meeting. 
Tension was palpable much before the meeting began with youth supporters of Akhilesh mounting pressure on the leadership in support of the chief minister. The meeting assumed significance as it came a day after Akhilesh engaged in a faceoff with his father by sacking each other’s loyalists Ramgopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav. Akhilesh had sacked Shivpal, his uncle and party’s state unit chief, along with three other ‘pro-Amar Singh’ ministers from his Cabinet. 
Mulayam, in a tit-for-tat action, expelled Ramgopal, pro-CM cousin and SP’s national general secretary, from the party for six years, plunging the party into worst-ever crisis days ahead of its silver jubilee celebrations and at a time when Assembly elections were barely few months away.
Shivpal meets Akhilesh, jointly call on Mulayam later
Hours after branding nephew Akhilesh Yadav a liar, UP Samajwadi Party chief Shivpal Yadav made a dramatic appearance at the CM’s residence on Monday night, in an apparent attempt at rapprochement. What exactly transpired between the nephew-uncle duo could not be known immediately as there was no word from them or their aides. 
Party observers said the meeting could have been at the behest of SP patriarch Mulayam, who had earlier in the day wished that Akhilesh and Shivpal transcended all differences and hugged each other at a key SP meeting at the party headquarters on Monday. Both of them later drove in the same car to see Mulayam who retired for the day amid reports that he was having a severe toothache. 
The all-important meeting convened by Mulayam to bring warring factions together on one dais turned ugly when Shivpal snatched the microphone from the Chief Minister and called him a liar. After the party supremo asked his son to hug his uncle to bury the hatchet and send a message that all was well in the party, Akhilesh took up the matter of his being referred to as Aurangzeb in an English newspaper.

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