Shivalpal Singh Yadav, officially the number two man in the Samajwadi Party is the younger brother of its chief Mulyam Singh Yadav.
Born in April 6, 1955, Shivpal was initiated into politics at a young age as he closely followed his brother and mentor who emerged as a leader of pro-Lohia ideology.
After spending his initial years in grassroots politics, he contested the 13th Uttar Pradesh assembly elections successfully from Jaswant Nagar seat in Etawah district in 1996. He was also appointed as the general secretary of the Samajwadi Party in the state.
As he took care of Mulayam’s constituency, he emerged as the de-facto chief minister during the SP chief’s last stint in power.
Shivpal took over as the president of the party’s state unit in 2009 and was also appointed as the leader of the opposition.
In 2012, when the Samajwadi Party won the state assembly elections with full majority, Shivpal was appointed as the cabinet minister for the departments of irrigation and PWD.
Four years later, his relations with nephew and chief minister Akhilesh Singh Yadav had soured so much that he was stripped of his portfolios, forcing him to threaten to quit the party.
But Mulayam stepped in to make him a major power centre in the Samajwadi Party by making him the state president on September 13, 2016 after divesting Akhilesh of that post.
Shivpal is supposed to have control over party’s rank and file and involved in poll preparedness after Mulayam showed his preference for him over son Akhilesh following a bruising power struggle that threatened to go out of hand.
He has the support of Amar Singh who recently rejoined the Samajwadi Party, but which only further enraged Akhilesh and intensified the fight with his uncle.
Shivpal’s wife, Sarla, heads a cooperative bank in Etawah. His son Aditya, who is the chairman of UP cooperative federation, might fight the 2017 polls.