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Mulayam Singh Yadav brings Ram Gopal back into SP mainstream

LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday revoked the expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav, reinstating him as the party’s general secretary, SP chief functionary in Rajya Sabha and member of the party’s parliamentary board. Ram Gopal was expelled last month after he wrote an open letter to the party chief, alleging that some vested interests were trying to mislead the leadership and create a rift within the SP. A day after his fiery speech in Parliament, the announcement was seen as start of a reconciliatory process within the SP to bring together all warring factions within the Yadav clan ahead of the 2017 assembly elections. “One should not be surprised to see SP state chief Shivpal Yadav being taken back in the Akhilesh cabinet along with others,” said a senior party functionary, hinting at a development along these lines. Ram Gopal, who had strongly supported chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in the family feud, was at his Delhi residence when the news of his reinstatement broke. He said, “Netaji could have never sacked me on his own. He was misled by some vested interests who wanted to see me out of the party.” Shivpal said he would abide by the SP chief’s decision on Ram Gopal. “I have said it before and am repeating it, Mulayam Singh’s decision is a diktat for me and I will continue to abide by whatever he says in future as well.” Often identified as party’s key strategist, Ram Gopal Yadav, a distant relative of Mulayam, is one of the founder-members of SP who drafted the party’s constitution.

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