Mulayam Singh Yadav is the founder of the prominent Samajwadi Party.
Mulayam Singh Yadav is the founder of the prominent Samajwadi Party.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, is preparing to head to the ballot box early next year, however, the Yadavs, whose Samajwadi Party heads the state government, is in disarray.

The Yadav family, who currently house 20 members and counting in the country’s political system, dominate the Samajwadi Party (SP) at all levels.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party’s founder and patriarch, serves as its national president. His elder son Akhilesh Yadav is the sitting chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. His brother Shivpal Yadav is a minister in the state government. All SP members of the lower house of the Indian parliament from are from the Yadav family. Other members occupy local and regional office

It’s not an unfamiliar scene in India — political families now dominate the parties in the country. According to data collected by the BBC after India’s most recent round of regional elections this year, the chief ministers of 14 of India’s 31 regional governments, encompassing 53% of India’s population, come from political families – that is, they have family members who either preceded or followed them into politics.

however, no other political family has the sheer numbers and sprawl across political offices at all levels of Indian politics that the Yadav family does.

But last month, tensions erupted among the Yadavs and broke out into open conflict.

Akhilesh Yadav moved against his uncle Shivpal by removing ministers and bureaucrats believed to be loyal to him. Mulayam Singh Yadav backed his brother, removing his son from the position of state president of the Samajwadi Party and appointing Shivpal Yadav to the position instead.

For the past month, son and uncle, and their respective loyalists, have been duking it out, with Mulayam Singh Yadav serving as the mediator.

While the drama is still unfolding, as of today, several of Akhilesh Yadav’s loyalists, including family members Ram Gopal Yadav and Udaiveer Yadav, have been expelled from the party, while Shivpal Yadav and his loyalists have been sacked from the cabinet.

The Yadav family feud is simply the most recent of a long line of such others, including the rift between former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi in the Nehru-Gandhi family, or between the brothers MK Stalin and MK Azhagiri of the Karunanidhi family in southern Tamil Nadu state, the Scindias in central Madhya Pradesh state, or the Thackerays in western Maharashtra state.

The history of other family feuds suggests that the Samajwadi Party feud could end in one of two ways: either warring family members, will end up remaining within the same party, or, if there is a split, one of the two branches may end up becoming the dominant one over time.