Feud over? Samajwadi Party’s Yadav clan moves towards a thaw
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Feud over? Samajwadi Party’s Yadav clan moves towards a thaw

This year, the BJP has so far fielded 34,507 candidates for 58,692 seats in the three-tier polls comprising gram panchayat, panchayat samity and zila parishad. In the last panchayat poll, the BJP had fielded just 11,266 candidates.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2018 07:25 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Samajwadi Party,Mulayam Singh Yadav,Akhilesh Yadav
The turf-war within the yadav family over the control of the Samajwadi Party had sharpened during last year’s assembly elections. (AFP File Photo)

Warring members of the Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family are likely to bury the hatchet to work together for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, two party leaders familiar with the development said.

Mulayam’s brother and aide Shivpal Singh Yadav and cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, who is close Akhilesh Yadav, met in New Delhi “about a week back”, the party leaders said on condition of anonymity.

The turf-war within the family over the control of the party had sharpened during last year’s assembly elections. The then chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, staged a coup by getting elected as the party chief, ousting his father.

Differences between the father and son revolved around political and bureaucratic appointments, ticket distribution, campaign strategy, and alliances.

The competing ambitions of Shivpal and Ram Gopal were also key drivers of the rift.

The feud, however, is slowly on the mend. Shivpal, who was allegedly slighted by Akhilesh and was subsequently courted by the BJP, voted for the Samajwadi Party candidate in the last month’s Rajya Sabha election ending speculations about him quitting the party. This was seen as an early signal of a possible patch-up.

The meeting takes forward the process of reconciliation. “Sab kushal mangal hai (everything is fine),” a source close to Shivpal said, confirming the meeting.

The Samajwadi Party leader, who was in Etawah, was not available for comment on the development.

“The meeting between Shivpal and Ram Gopal is significant given their bitter past. Shivpal has reconciled to his new status in the Samajwadi Party,” a party leader said.

Shivpal, a former national general secretary of the Samajwadi Party, might soon return as a party office-bearer but may not get as prominent role as he used to enjoy during Mulayam’s tenure as SP president, the leader said.

On Tuesday, Mulayam endorsed Akhilesh’s decision to explore an alliance with his political rival Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

“It is a very good effort...with both the parties coming together, no one will be able to stop them (the two parties) in the Lok Sabha election...there is a need to keep it going,” Mulayam said at a public meeting at Kishni in Mainpuri. The SP under Mulayam and Shivpal had a deeply acrimonious relationship with Mayawati and the generational shift in SP has helped the process of rapprochement with the BSP.

The Samajwadi Party patron also thanked BSP workers for successfully backing the SP candidates in the recently held bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Mulayam has conveyed to his extended family that Akhilesh’s move was in the ‘right direction’ and everybody within the family and the party should support him, another SP leader said.

The SP patriarch’s endorsement of his son’s political move is seen as reinforcement of his faith in Akhilesh and another sign of the reconciliation within the family. Since losing power in Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh fastened his grip over the SP, by edging out Shivpal loyalists from the organisation and getting re-elected as party’s national president in October last year for a 5-year term.

First Published: Apr 12, 2018 07:24 IST