Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday sacked Sanjay Lathar, president of the party's youth wing Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha (SYS), saying that the latter was ignoring party work and had "many serious allegations" against him.
The move came as a shock to many in the party, as Lathar was considered one of the close associates of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Recently, the chief minister had spoken of Lathar being a "potential candidate" for his cabinet.
In a signed letter, SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav announced the action.
Lathar has been sacked as the president of SYS "with immediate effect".
The letter says that Lathar was not only ignoring the party work but had "many serious allegations" against him.
Lathar, a Jat leader, had accompanied Akhilesh Yadav during his Kranti Rath Yatra on an improvised bus and was one of the few party workers who had 24x7 access to the 39-year-old chief minister.
"He was part of the coterie of Akhilesh... We don't know why such action was taken against him," an office bearer said.
Lathar was the SP candidate for Mant (in Mathura district) assembly bypoll held in June and despite his busy schedule the chief minister took out time to canvass for him.
However, Lathar lost the election.
This is the second time in the six-month tenure of Akhilesh Yadav that the senior Yadav has intervened.
Earlier, he told party workers that he was "not too happy with the government's functioning and that a lot needed to be done still".
According to informed sources close to Mulaym Singh, the SP chief was forced to act as some bureaucrats and industrialists told him that Lathar interfered in their day-to-day work.
"There were also allegations of extortion in the National Capital Region," a source said.