Shivpal Yadav floats new outfit, asks ‘neglected’ SP leaders to join him
Shivpal had decided to form a separate outfit in May last year after months of infighting in the family, compounded by a crushing electoral defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, but refrained from making any formal announcement.Updated: Aug 29, 2018 21:51 IST
Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Wednesday announced the formation of the Samajwadi Secular Morcha, and invited all “neglected” leaders from the SP and other secular parties to join him, in a development that could rekindle the power tussle in the Yadav family.
“I had been waiting for the last one-and-a-half years for some responsibility to be assigned to me by the party. I can no longer take this neglect,” Shivpal said. The SP leader had decided to form a separate outfit in May last year after months of infighting in the family, compounded by a crushing electoral defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, but refrained from making any formal announcement.
Shivpal, who met SP patriarch and older brother Mulayam Singh Yadav in the morning before making the announcement, refused to comment whether he would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections under the morcha. “We have been working on this front for quite some time now. We will sit down and take a decision on this (contesting Lok Sabha elections) later,” said Shivpal.
Reacting to the development, SP president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said “more such reports will come to light as the elections draw closer.” When asked if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had a role to play in it, Akhilesh said, “Though nothing definite can be said, keeping in view the developments in the last two days there is definitely something fishy going on.”
Shivpal met UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath more than once in recent months. Though the meetings were described as personal visits, Shivpal’s decision to express his feelings soon after Mulayam’s “no one respects me now” statement on Saturday has assumed political significance.
Shivpal also met Om Prakash Rajbhar, a disgruntled minister in the Adityanath government, on Tuesday. Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh had on Tuesday criticised all the members of the Yadav family, except Shivpal. Singh said he had arranged a meeting between Shivpal and top leaders of the BJP but it did not take place.
“I spoke to the top BJP leaders for Shivpal. The time of meeting was also fixed but he (Shivpal) backed out. Now, I have no political responsibility for him. I am not in touch with him,” Singh added.
Amar Singh was in Lucknow on Wednesday to meet Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik and Adityanath. He said he would meet the governor to demand the removal of SP leader Azam Khan from the post of chancellor of the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University.
First Published: Aug 29, 2018 15:03 IST