A few hours after the merger of don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) with the Samajwadi Party was announced on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav dismissed minister for secondary education Balram Yadav, who played an active role in the move. As of now, no official statement has come over the removal.
“Balram Yadav, holding charge of Secondary Education ministry, has been removed from the Council of Ministers by the Chief Minister,” a senior official.
However, no official reason has been cited for the removal, SP leaders said the chief minister was “unhappy” with Balram Yadav for facilitating the controversial merger of the QED with the ruling SP.
The merger was announced on Tuesday by SP spokesman and senior Cabinet Minister Shivpal Yadav, who is the brother of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
“QED is merging with SP which would strengthen the party,” Shivpal said. Interestingly, Shivpal suggested that Mukhtar, the jailed MLA of QED, was not among those who had joined the SP.
“At present only those who were present at the event are joining SP. We did not have any talk with Mukhtar,” he said in reply to a question at a press conference jointly addressed by Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Afzal Ansari.
When Akhilesh was asked for a comment on the merger, he evaded a direct reply and merely said, “If party workers perform their responsibilities, then there was no need of another party,” an apparent indication of disapproval of the merger with any party.
Ahead of state assembly elections in 2017, the merger of the QED with the SP has given fresh ammunition to the opposition parties to target Samajwadi Party which has often been accused of protecting goons and dons.
BJP leader Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, “This is nothing new. Samajwadi Party is trying all means to get back to power in the next elections”.