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Mulayam dumps Ram Gopal Yadav

Sept 21,Lucknow: In signs of fresh strains in Samajwadi Party ahead of its state and national convention, its patron Mulayam Singh Yadav today removed Akhilesh-loyalist Ram Gopal Yadav from the post of secretary of the Lohia Trust and appointed his brother Shivpal Yadav in his place.

The SP is holding is state convention on September 23 in the state capatal while its national convention is scheduled on October 5 in Agra.

"At a meeting of the trust held here, Ram Gopal was removed from the post of secretary and I was given the responsibility to take forward the ideology of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia," Shivpal, the warring uncle of Akhilesh, told reporters.

Asked whether he was invited to attend the SP state and national conventions, he said, "I have not received the invitation so far and I am unlikely to attend them."

On his future course of action after being sidelined in the SP by his nephew, Shivpal said, "Netaji (Mulayam) will hold a press conference on September 25. He will make some announcements."

He, however, did not elaborate, leaving mediapersons wondering as to whether the party patriarch will part ways with the SP and announce a front, reports about which were doing the rounds in the political circles.

In a meeting of the trust last month, Mulayam had sacked four Akhilesh loyalists who were its members, but had retained Akhilesh and cousin Ramgopal Yadav.

The Lohia Trust is an affiliate of the Samajwadi Party and Mulayam is its chairperson.

Shivpal, Akhilesh and Ramgopal Yadav, who is also the SP national general secretary, are members of the trust.

Mulayam had terminated the trust membership of Ramgovind Chaudhary, the Leader of Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, Ahmed Hasan, Usha Verma and Alok Shakya at its annual meeting last month.

Deepak Mishra, whom Akhilesh had expelled from the SP, was been made a member.

Mishra is a close Shivpal aide and president of the Samajwadi Chintan Sabha. Shivpal's other confidants Ramsewak and Ramnaresh from Etawah and Rajesh Yadav from Hardoi too were made new members of the Lohia Trust.

Akhilesh and Ramgopal skipped today's meeting despite an invitation.

During the initial stages of the Yadav family feud, Akhilesh had created another trust, the Janeshwar Mishra Trust, housed adjacent to the Lohia Trust.

Akhilesh is the chairperson of the Janeshwar Mishra Trust.

The Yadav family feud came to the fore about a year ago and climaxed in Akhilesh snatching the mantle of the SP national president from his father at an emergency national convention of the party here on January 1.