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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Presidential election : Mulayam ‘drifts’ towards NDA, UPA woos Akhilesh

The BJP-led NDA and the Congress-led UPA are trying to take advantage of the feud in the Samajwadi Party’s first family

india Updated: Jun 28, 2017 12:05 IST

Pankaj Jaiswal, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Former UP chief minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and party patriarch  Mulayam Singh Yadav apparently differ on choice of presidential candidate
Former UP chief minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav apparently differ on choice of presidential candidate (PTI File Photo )

The feud in Samajwadi Party’s first family is likely to be played out again in the ensuing Presidential election with both the ruling and opposition conglomerates trying to take advantage of the rift.

Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav apparently is drifting towards the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA, which has put up Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential nominee.

Mulayam’s son and party chief Akhilesh Yadav on the other hand is wooed by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The alliance has pitted former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar against Kovind.

Voting for presidential poll will be held on July 17.

“It’s set, Netaji (Mulayam), Shivpal Yadav and some SP MLAs in Shivpal camp will vote for Kovind,” said a source after Mulayam’s brother Shivpal had 25-minute long meeting with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday morning.

Shivpal called on Yogi to greet him on his BJP government’s completion of 100 days in office.

The SP has five Lok Sabha members, including Azamgarh MP Mulayam Singh Yadav. The other four--Akhilesh’s wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav, Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, and Firozabad MP Akshaya Yadav are in Akhilesh camp.It has 47 members in the state assembly.

The day BJP national president Amit Shah announced Kovind’s candidature, Mulayam had said: “The BJP had picked a good candidate for the post. I have an old association with him (Kovind).”

The same evening, Mulayam also went to the dinner hosted by Yogi for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow.

A fortnight ago, Shivpal had called Yogi “a hardworking and honest chief minister.”

A source close to Shivpal said he has the support of “nearly a dozen of legislators, including the two whom Akhilesh Yadav had denied party tickets.

After denial of ticket Vijay Mishra contested his Gyanpur seat (Bhadoi) on Nishad Party ticket and won, while Aman Mani Tripathi won as an independent candidate from Nautanwa (Maharajganj).

The genesis of the Yadav family feud can be traced back to August last year. On January 1 this year, Akhilesh Yadav was elected national president of the party through an emergency convention, dethroning his father.

Despite the difference, Akhilesh gave Shivpal the SP ticket to contest Jaswant Nagar seat.

The SP contested the assembly elections earlier this year with an alliance with the Congress and got defeated.

First Published: Jun 28, 2017 10:34 IST

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