Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is “on board” a proposed all-India secular front, former minister Shivpal Yadav said on Friday, potentially opening a new front in the bruising power struggle within the former first family of the state.
Mulayam Singh is, however, yet to react to the Secular Morcha announced by Shivpal on Friday, weeks after the SP suffered a humiliating defeat in the assembly polls. A bruising turf war between Shivpal and his nephew, former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, is believed to the main reasons for the party’s drubbing.
“He (Mulayam) is very much on the board. Without his blessings we would not have taken such a major step,” Shivpal told Hindustan Times.
Ahead of the polls, Akhilesh had taken control of the party after removing his father as the national SP president and then going for a pre-poll tie-up with the Congress despite opposition from Mulayam and Shivpal.
The SP barely managed to avoid a split but the cracks started to widen after the pol loss.
Shivpal, who had earlier played a key role in the formation of Bihar’s grand alliance under Mulayam’s leadership, said a similar front at the national level would be constituted to take on the communal forces and deliver justice to farmers and the downtrodden.
Shivpal said he on will soon start talks with senior non-BJP leaders to revive a front he has envisaged ahead of the Bihar assembly polls in 2015. Mulayam had withdrawn from a grand alliance of the Congress, Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal before the Bihar assembly elections.
The Samajwadi Secular Morcha is believed to be on the lines of a revolutionary front that Mulayam Singh had floated after the split in Charan Singh’s Lok Dal.
Mulayam had then headed Lok Dal (A) and it had limited base in Uttar Pradesh.
This also explains why Shivpal is not floating a separate party so that he can continue to mount pressure on Akhilesh Yadav to return the party to Mulayam. As of now, Akhilesh is not relenting and has dared an election for the party president’s post.
Without naming the senior leaders with whom he is holding talks, Shivpal mentioned Gandhiwadi (Congress), Lohiawadi (Socialist leaders such as Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar) and followers of Charan Singh (Rashtriya Lok Dal of Choudhary Ajit Singh) as potential allies.
“It is nice that a secular front is coming up. I do not have any idea yet in what form it will come up. Samajwadi people are always ready to take a test and they also pass those tests. Secular front should indeed come up,” Akhilesh Yadav said on Friday on the sidelines of a party function.