NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, in rare assertion where he has refused to be brow beaten by Uncle Shivpal Yadav and even his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, pointed a finger at ‘outsiders’ for creating the feud within the Samajwadi party’s First Family. He did not name the person but the signal was enough for the party leaders to mutter: “Amar Singh”, the businessman who was seen by the old guard in the party like the late Mohan Singh as being singularly responsible for creating fissures and weakening the UP party.

The muttering, finding its way into the media, has not been denied by the party. Not even by Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is single handedly responsible for bringing Amar Singh back into the party after his rather unceremonious exit a few years ago.

Instead SP lawmaker and another ‘Uncle’ Ram Gopal Yadav, rushing to rescue the organisation and the government from virtual collapse, also did not deny this while assuring reporters that the crisis, if any was over. And there was no problem in the government or within the Samajwadi party that had witnessed an ugly spat between the CM, his uncle and his father. Ram Gopal Yadav when asked directly about the role of Amar Singh in the feud merely said, that there was no point in clarifying when “you” meaning the media “have already made up your minds.” He, however said he would speak of this at another time, with the absence of a categorical denial of Singh’s involvement being noted and commented upon by Samajwadi stalwarts.

Amar Singh had finally left the Samajwadi party following serious differences with Akhilesh Yadav, seen at that time as the new star on the horizon. The Chief Minister had been almost public in his reportedly dislike for the businessman whose chequered career had brought him very close to Mulayam Singh. Late socialist leader in SP, Mohan Singh had expressed deep concern about this influence, and told reporters at the time that the Samajwadi party was suffering as a consequence.

Amar Singh is now back in the party, although keeping a very low profile. In his last avataar he had become a spokesperson for Mulayam Singh Yadav, determining party strategy at different levels. Singh is reported to be close to Shivpal Yadav, with both Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav having been very critical of his role in the SP. An attempt to patch up a few days ago when Shivpal Yadav had visited the CM blew in the partys face with authoritarian decisions by Mulayam Singh. He dismissed Akhilesh Yadav as the state unit chief, and replaced him summarily with his brother. That the CM has grown in confidence over the years since Amar Singh left (and now rejoined) the party was clear as he did not accept the decision lying down, and retaliated within hours by dismissing Shivpal Yadav from all ministerial positions in government.

This created a major crisis with both father and son reportedly adamant about their respective positions. The Samajwadi party leaders and candidates, all in preparation for a very difficult election, were aghast at the turn of events. MP Ram Gopal Yadav met Mulayam Singh to again try and paper over the crisis, and emerged maintaining that all was well, and it had been a “mistake” to remove the CM from the party post, who would have resigned had he been asked, instead of being summarily dismissed. “There is no crisis” he said.

However, he has few believers in the Samajwadi party who have seen enough of these familial differences to accept the assurance at face value. The only consensus so far emerging from within the party and the UP government is, as a senior SP leader said :if this carries on, we might as well not contest the Assembly elections.”