On the day Shivpal Yadav had filed his nomination for his Jaswant Nagar assembly seat for the 2017 polls, he had said that he would form a new party under Mulayam Singh Yadav three months after the election results.
After Friday’s announcement, it looks like he is sticking to the ‘threat’ and its time-frame. And his latest move is another salvo in the ongoing Yadav family feud, involving the sulking uncle and an adamant nephew Akilesh Yadav.
In fact, the uncle-nephew acrimony was expected to intensify given the rout of the Akhilesh-led SP government in the recent UP assembly polls.
Shivpal won his seat by a decent margin, but the 2017 polls results were a big embarrassment for Akhilesh’s Samajwadi Party. It won just 47 seats against its 2012 tally of 223.
The Shivpal camp had begun turning the heat on Akhilesh the day election results were announced on March 11. Shivpal had said: “It was not SP’s defeat, but the defeat of ego.”
Ever since the falling out in 2016, Shivpal has repeatedly been harping on “restoring Netaji’s honour”. But as of now it is unlikely that he will be able to revive Mulayam’s political fortunes, for it is not clear which socialist parties--big or small--will join his front.
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) may not support Shivpal as he had supported Akhilesh during the Lucknow convention of the SP ahead of the 2017 polls.
Given the way the situation is emerging, SP leaders have refused to comment on the latest developments.
Kiranmony Nanda, the vice-president of the party, said: “I am away in Kolkata, I don’t know the developments. So it would be inappropriate for me to make any comments.”
Former Ayodhya MLA, Pawan Pandey, who lost his seat, said: “I am not aware what Shivpal ji has said.”
As of now, it is not clear whether Shivpal is forming a new party or a new front like the Janata Parivar he had tried to cobble up ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and then again ahead of the 2017 UP assembly polls.
If Shivpal’s Morcha becomes a reality, then the road ahead for 2019 will be a tough one for Akhilesh and his Samajwadi Party, which is yet to come out of the shock of the huge defeat of 2017.