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Shivpal may revive plan to float ‘secular morcha’

Shivpal Yadav tweeted a declaration to drive home the point that he indeed voted for the National Democratic Alliance candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

lucknow Updated: Jul 18, 2017 16:28 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Shivpal Yadav,Samajwadi party,SP secular morcha
SP leader Shivpal Yadav after casting his Vote for Presidential Election in Lucknow.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT PHOTO)

With the presidential election having widened the chasm in the Yadav family, there is speculation that disgruntled Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Shivpal Yadav may once again start talking about forming Samajwadi Secular Morcha after having put the brakes on his plans earlier.

By Monday evening, Shivpal Yadav tweeted a declaration to drive home the point that he indeed voted for the National Democratic Alliance candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

“Today, following the instructions of Netaji (former SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav), I, along with associated MLAs, voted for Ram Nath Kovind for the post of President. The election for the President should be through consensus, and there is none better than Kovind for the post,” he tweeted.

Attacking Azam Khan for telling the media that Shivpal may have voted for Meira Kumar, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle said: “He misled you (media).”

Khan and SP legislators’ group leader Ram Govind Chowdhary have been saying that Shivpal may have talked about supporting Kovind but may have voted for Meira Kumar following the party’s call.

Asked why he did not follow the party’s directions, Shivpal said: “None in the party asked me to (vote for Meira Kumar). When Kovind’s name was announced, he sought support from me. He even called me up. But within the party, no one even sought my opinion or told me anything. (He hinted that even Meira Kumar did not seek his support). When they (the party) did not ask me to follow anything, why should I?” he told reporters.

Shivpal was not invited to the meeting at the SP headquarters where UPA candidate Meira Kumar was hosted last week. He also hasn’t attended the ongoing budget session of the state assembly.

Through the day, Shivpal claimed many SP MLAs had voted for Kovind because the SP always believed that president should be elected by consensus. “Even Ram Manohar Lohia believed in consensus for president,” he said.

The result of Monday’s election will reveal the extent of cross-voting in the Samajwadi Party.

Clearly, fresh battle lines are drawn in the Yadav family feud, which has been playing out for nearly a year now.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 16:28 IST