Lucknow: A crucial Samajwadi Party meeting called on Saturday by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is to begin shortly at his official residence.
Yadav who was expelled by his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav late on Friday, called the meeting at his 5, Kalidas Marg residence to “test the waters” for a further showdown.
Akhilesh, along with his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav were likely to take their war with the other camp to the finishing line.
Sources say more than 70 legislators of the ruling party have arrived for the meeting and many more were on their way.
In a fresh twist, the mobile phones of all these MLAs were deposited with the security personnel.
It was feared, that like at the October meeting of the party, someone might broadcast the happenings inside to the other camp or the media.
Meanwhile heavy security was deployed outside the Chief Minister’s residence and also outside the residences of Mulayam Singh Yadav and the state unit chief Shivpal Singh Yadav, the estranged uncle of 43-year-old Akhilesh.
Ram Gopal Yadav, the party national general secretary also expelled from the party on Friday, was likely to attend the meeting and “guide” the young leaders and Akhilesh supporters on the “technical and legal issues” emerging after their expulsion from the party.
The Rajya Sabha member has already rebuffed the party leadership by terming the expulsion as “illegal and one which was against natural justice”.
Despite Mulayam Singh saying that he would be deciding on the next Chief Minister, Akhilesh has told his close aides that he would continue in the post.
A meeting of the 393 party candidates officially announced by the Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh has been called at the party headquarters around 11 am.
The Raj Bhawan, meanwhile, was closely monitoring the situation and Governor Ram Naik was learnt to have consulted constitutional experts on the unfolding political situation emerging in the ruling party.
On the face of it, however, he has said that so far he sees no constitutional crisis in the state.