In yet another development that could escalate tensions in the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, MLC Udayveer Singh, a close aide of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, was expelled from the party for six years.
Singh's expulsion came days after he reportedly sent a letter to party's national president Mulayam Singh Yadav asking him to step down and let Akhilesh take his place.
In the letter, Singh also accused Mulayam's second wife Sadhna of harbouring ill feeling towards her stepson Akhilesh adding that Shivpal Singh Yadav, the state party chief and a brother of Mulayam Singh, was jealous of the chief minister's popularity.
The decision to expell Udayveer could be the result of him openly taking sides with Akhilesh at a time when the party is struggling to keep all the stakeholders united ahead of the upcoming assembly elections.
(With inputs from agencies)