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Home / Politics / Policy /  Samajwadi Party now divided over party’s Rajya Sabha leader

New Delhi: Differences of opinion between Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav persisted on Sunday as the party’s parliamentary board met to decide the party’s new leader in the Rajya Sabha, among other things.

Following the rift in the Yadav family, SP’s state chief Shivpal Yadav expelled its Rajya Sabha leader Ram Gopal Yadav from the party on 23 October. Ram Gopal Yadav was considered close to the chief minister and had backed him as the face of the party for the upcoming state assembly election in early 2017.

The ongoing succession battle has triggered a series of revenge sackings when the chief minister sacked Shivpal Yadav from the state cabinet who, hours later, expelled Ram Gopal Yadav from the party on charges of colluding with rival Bharatiya Janata Party.

Senior leaders of the party present in Sunday’s meeting said that while Mulayam Singh Yadav wants Beni Prasad Verma to be appointed to the post, the chief minister has backed Naresh Aggarwal. Reoti Raman Singh is the party’s senior-most member of the Rajya Sabha.

“Different names came up during the meeting and a decision will be taken by Netaji (Mulayam Singh) with everyone’s consensus soon," said Kiranmay Nanda, SP’s Rajya Sabha member, who is also a member of the party’s parliamentary board.

To be sure, Beni Prasad Verma, who had left SP for the Congress party, returned to the party in May this year along with Amar Singh who joined SP six years after he was expelled. Both leaders were nominated by the party to the Rajya Sabha.

The party has to decide on a name before the winter session of Parliament commences on 16 November.

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