New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party on Sunday (January 29, 2023) declared its 63-member national executive with Swami Prasad Maurya, who recently courted controversy over his remarks on the Hindu epic ‘Ramcharitmanas‘, becoming one of the 14 general secretaries. In the list of new national executive members, the SP declared that Akhilesh Yadav will continue to hold the post of national president. Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav was also made a general secretary. The uncle-nephew duo of Shivpal and Akhilesh, who parted ways in 2016, came together during the Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-election in December last year following the death of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The list also said that Kiranmoy Nanda will be the national vice president and Ram Gopal Yadav will continue as national principal general secretary.
Besides Maurya, who is a former minister in the Yogi Adityanath government and switched from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the SP before the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the other national general secretaries are Ravi Prakash Verma, Balram Yadav, Vishwambhar Prasad Nishad, Awadhesh Prasad, Indrajeet Saroj, Ramjilal Suman, Lalji Verma, Ram Achal Rajbhar, J Antony, Harendra Malik, and Neeraj Chowdhury.
Lashing out at the SP, BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said Maurya was rewarded for “insulting” Ramcharitmanas.
“SP wants to vitiate communal harmony of the state. It wants to create caste conflict in the state. These designs of the SP will not be fulfilled,” Tripathi alleged.
“Anti-Hindu and casteist face of Akhilesh Yadav has come to the fore,” he added.
Maurya had on January 22 in a statement said that the Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas contained passages discriminatory of women and shudras.
The prominent OBC leader had kicked up a controversy by alleging that certain verses of the Ramcharitmanas “insult” a large section of society on the basis of caste and demanded that these be “banned.”