This Article is From Nov 17, 2016

Akhilesh Yadav's Favourite Uncle Ram Gopal Yadav Is Back, Samajwadi Cancels Sacking

Ram Gopal Yadav was sacked from the Samajwadi Party last month.

New Delhi: A day after his fiery speech in parliament, which featured a warning for the government that it could face the "revenge of the rolling pin" in villages over the currency ban, Ram Gopal Yadav has been taken back by his Samajwadi Party.

A Samajwadi statement said on Wednesday that Ram Gopal Yadav's sacking in October has been cancelled by party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Ram Gopal Yadav, Mulayam Singh's cousin, is the leader of the Samajwadi Party in the Rajya Sabha - it is the third largest group in the house after the Congress and BJP - and is widely seen as the party's face in Delhi.

The 70-year-old was expelled from the party for six years last month in the middle of a severe feud within the Yadav family, which pitted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav against his father Mulayam and uncle Shivpal Yadav months ahead of elections in the state.

"I have always been part of the Samajwadi Party. I will always be in the Samajwadi Party. Now that I am officially back, I thank Netaji (Mulayam)," Ram Gopal Yadav said.

Mulayam Singh's change of heart on Ram Gopal signals a blow for Shivpal Yadav, who had put out the press statement announcing the sacking. Yesterday, it was also clear that Mulayam Singh had not informed parliament about his cousin's exit.

Ram Gopal yesterday represented the Samajwadi Party in a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the government's sudden ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last week, and the impact on people who have been forced to wait for hours at ATMs and banks for cash.

Suggesting that the government send its ministers to a village, he said: "The women, they will hit you on the head with a rolling pin." He also referenced chief Mulayam Singh more than once.

After his expulsion, Ram Gopal had said bitterly that "Mulayam Singh Yadav seems to be jealous of his son's success."

A former professor of Political Science, Ram Gopal is close to nephew Akhilesh Yadav. He has repeatedly sided with the 43-year-old Chief Minister and said he changed the narrative of the Samajwadi Party, which has often been associated with "goonda raj" or hooliganism.