On Shivpal’s disqualification, SP deviates from past ‘tradition’
By seeking disqualification of Jaswantnagar MLA Shivpal Yadav from the membership of UP assembly, the Samajwadi Party, which never sought disqualification of any of its legislators in the past, has departed from its tradition.
Amar Singh, Jaya Prada and Azam Khan are the examples in the recent past. Also, in the case of Nitin Agarwal, the SP did not seek cancellation of his membership as an SP legislator.
Nitin Agarwal, who had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) six months before Shivpal Yadav had floated his Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L) in October 2018, continues to be a Samajwadi Party MLA from Hardoi. Nitin was an SP MLA and minister in Akhilesh Yadav government form 2012 to 2017 and was re-elected as SP MLA from Hardoi seat in 2017 assembly polls. Within a year of re-election, Nitin quit the SP and joined the BJP.
When Shivpal Yadav had formed the PSP-L in October 2018, the Samajwadi Party refused to make any attempt in seeking his disqualification. “Our party does not seek disqualification. Our tradition is such. We did not seek disqualification of Nitin Agarwal. If they (Shivpal or Nitin) want to quit their membership, it’s up to them. We will not seek disqualification,” Ram Govind Chaudhary, leader of the opposition and senior SP leader, had said in October 2018.
Before this even though the SP had expelled its then senior leader Amar Singh (who was a Rajya Sabha MP), Jaya Prada (the then Samajwadi Party Rampur MP) or Azam Khan (the then Rampur MLA), it didn’t seek their disqualification.
Amar Singh and Jaya Prada were expelled in January 2010 while Azam Khan was expelled in May 2009. Amar Singh had even floated a political party Rashtriya Lok Manch, which Jaya Prada also joined. Amar Singh went on a ‘rath yatra’ across the state as his party was contesting the 2012 polls against the SP. Yet, the Samajwadi Party did not seek their disqualification. In fact, the party revoked Azam Khan’s expulsion before the 2012 assembly polls and subsequently resent Amar Singh to the Rajya Sabha. Shivpal, after a prolonged ‘Yadav family feud’, had formed the PSP-L in October 2018 and contested the Lok Sabha polls 2019.
Meanwhile, PSP-L chief Shivpal Yadav said on Friday, “I had left Samajwadi Party during the Lok Sabha elections. Now, they have moved the petition. I will reply to it when the Vidhan Sabha seeks it.” The SP has sought cancellation of Shivpal’s membership under ‘disqualification on ground of defection rules, 1987’.
Ram Govind Chaudhary was unavailable for his comments, but an SP leader in the know of the matter said: “Mulayam Singh Yadav was the president of the party during the cases of Amar Singh, Jaya Prada or Azam Khan. Now, as far as Nitin Agarwal is concerned, the party has taken a lenient view. He just left the party and joined the BJP along with his father. He did not say anything against the SP. But Shivpal Yadav has continued to be belligerent, so, the party took a firm stand against him.”