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Akhilesh Yadav reaches out to senior SP leader Beni Prasad Verma as Shivpal firms up his morcha

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav called on party’s Rajya Sabha MP Beni Prasad Verma at the latter’s residence on Sunday and the two talked for over an hour.

lucknow Updated: Oct 09, 2018 16:03 IST
akhilesh yadav meets beni prasad verma,akhilesh yadav,samajwadi party
Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav appears to have begun to woo the party’s old guard and the long-standing associates of his father after the emergence of the Samajwadi Secular Morcha floated by his uncle Shivpal Yadav.(PTI File )

Samajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav appears to have begun to woo the party’s old guard and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s long-standing associates after the emergence of the Samajwadi Secular Morcha floated by his uncle Shivpal Yadav.

Akhilesh called on party’s Rajya Sabha MP Beni Prasad Verma at Verma’s residence on Sunday and the two talked for over an hour.

Since becoming president of the party, Akhilesh Yadav had largely focused on his original camp members who had been closely associated with him during the family feud.

Verma, a prominent Kurmi leader, had once quit the party and floated his own organisation. He contested the 2007 UP assembly polls against the then ruling SP.

Verma had joined the Congress and served as the Union minister of steel till the Congress-led UPA government lost power in 2014. In 2016, Beni rejoined SP.

A source in the Verma camp said the two leaders met and talked for over an hour, discussing the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Verma reportedly also asked as to how Akhilesh would counter Shivpal’s morcha, and would he still be open to the idea of reconciliation with his uncle. Yadav is said to have evaded the question on Shivpal.

Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal were locked in a bitter family feud over control of the party just ahead of the 2017 UP assembly election.

Akhilesh had won the fight by getting himself installed as the party’s national president in January 2017.

At the meeting, Akhilesh told Verma about the developments regarding the alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and exuded confidence about a tie-up.

Verma had been keeping away from SP events and meetings. Before this, Akhilesh had called on Verma when he turned 77 on February 12.

Shivpal Yadav announced formation of the SSM on August 29 and has hit the ground running ever since.

Two weeks ago, Shivpal met veteran SP leader Bhagwati Singh to seek his blessings. Shivpal had gifted octogenarian Bhagwati the Morcha’s flag and briefed him about his plans. He also told Singh he was forced to chart his own course for the sake of his honour and of those leaders and workers who were sidelined, ousted, or ignored in the party.

First Published: Oct 09, 2018 16:03 IST