Lucknow: The grim power wrangle in Samajwadi Party culminated on Friday in a vertical split with party chief Mulyam Singh Yadav expelling son and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his chief strategist Ram Gopal Yadav from the party , in a development which can complicate the already complex landscape in UP just before election. Mulayam's drastic step was a retaliation against Akhilesh's refusal to accept the candidates selected by the party boss and release his own slate. On Friday, the Akhilesh camp followed through his defiance by calling a special convention of the party on Sunday without bothering to take Mulayam's consent. Akhilesh's extern ment has led to the politically novel situation where a CM has been expelled from his party , with the fact that the outfit is a family-controlled affair only adding to the bizarreness about it.
While making the dramatic announcement, Mulayam indicated that he would soon substitute Akhilesh with someone else as CM. But this should not necessarily endanger the incumbent. The constitutional design does not require governor Ram Naik, read BJP-controlled Centre, to go by what happens outside the assembly to decide leadership and majority claims. Political flux such as the current one does expand the scope for the governor to interfere. But BJP appears to see little profit in entangling itself in the squabble among the ruling Yadav clan from Saifai so close to polls, the schedule for which could be announced as early as next week. The model code of conduct will kick in as soon as the schedule is out, something which will reduce Akhilesh to just a figure head. The possibility of Akhilesh playing �victim� further diminishes the incentive for the Centre to meddle in the mess. This is a distinct prospect because of the likelihood that with the help of Congress, Ajit the help of Congress, Ajit Singh's RLD and Independents, Akhilesh may muster enough support for him to hang on. Governor Naik made his disinclination to go proactive clear when he told, �As of now, it is an intra-party development. I am keeping a watch on it. Necessary steps will be taken when the situation so demands.�