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Shivpal meets Yogi, may vote for Kovind

Kovind is pitted against former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, a joint opposition candidate.

lucknow Updated: Jun 29, 2017 21:43 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Shivpal had termed Yogi as ‘a hardworking and honest chief minister.’
Shivpal had termed Yogi as ‘a hardworking and honest chief minister.’
         

Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA Shivpal Yadav had a 25-minute meeting with chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday morning, sparking speculation that he along with some MLAs supporting him may vote for NDA presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind.

“It’s set. Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav), Shivpal Yadav and some MLAs in Shivpal camp will vote for Kovind,” said sources.

Read more: Opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar joins Twitter

Kovind is pitted against former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, a joint opposition candidate.

“Shivpal Yadav called on Yogi to greet him on completion of 100 days of his government in UP. But indications from the meeting are that he and Netaji will vote for Kovind,” said sources.

Samajwadi Party (SP) has five Lok Sabha members, including Mulayam Singh Yadav who is MP from Azamgarh. 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 the Akhilesh camp.

Mulayam had on the day BJP national president Amit Shah announced Kovind’s candidature 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 Adityanath for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow on June 20.

Read more: If he becomes president, Kovind must speak up for the dispossessed

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

A source close to Shivpal said he had the support of “nearly a dozen MLAs, including two MLAs to whom Akhilesh Yadav had denied tickets. They are Vijay Mishra and Aman Mani Tripathi.” After denial of ticket, Vijay Mishra contested his Gyanpur seat (Bhadoi) on Nishad Party ticket and won, while Aman Mani Tripathi tried his luck on Nautanwa (Maharajganj) as an independent and won.

Samawjadi Party’s Yadav family feud has been going on since August last year. On January 1 this year, Akhilesh Yadav was elected national president of the party through an emergency convention. Despite the difference, Akhilesh gave Shivpal the ticket to contest from Jaswant Nagar seat. He won, but the party that had 223 seats in 2012 polls, could win only 47 in 2017 UP Assembly polls.

Voting for Presidential polls will be held on July 17.

First Published: Jun 28, 2017 16:23 IST

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