Family must unite ahead of elections, says Shivpal

Lucknow:  Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party needs to remain united ahead of assembly elections next year, party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav said on Thursday. "Elections are around the corner. It's best for the family and everyone else to stay united," Shivpal Yadav told the media on his return from New Delhi amid a major crisis in the Samajwadi Party. He said the Samajwadi Party's aim was to win a majority in the Uttar Pradesh assembly and that party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's was the last word in party affairs. Shivpal Yadav spoke two days after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took away his plum portfolios, shortly after Shivpal Yadav replaced Akhilesh Yadav as the party chief in the state. "Whatever Netaji (Mulayam Singh) decides has to be adhered by everyone in the party. No one can challenge his decision," he said. "Netaji has sent him (Akhilesh Yadav) as the Chief Minister and this is acceptable to me," Shivpal Yadav said. Asked if the "outsider" being blamed for the party crisis was Rajya Sabha Samajwadi Party member Amar Singh, Shivpal Yadav said: "Our power will strengthen by uniting, not breaking."