Shivpal parted ways with the SP in August last year to form a political front Samajwadi Secular Morcha. Later, he floated his political party (PSPL).
Shivpal parted ways with the SP in August last year to form a political front Samajwadi Secular Morcha. Later, he floated his political party (PSPL).

Shivpal’s PSPL banking on former SP legislators, leaders to widen base

The ranks of ex-legislators and leaders who have contested elections in the past are swelling in Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia).
By Pankaj Jaiswal | Hindustan Times, Lucknow, Lucknow
PUBLISHED ON JAN 03, 2019 03:10 PM IST

The ranks of ex-legislators and leaders who have contested elections in the past are swelling in Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia).

The PSPL now boasts of having at least 50 former MLAs, MPs, MLCs, and experienced leaders in its fold. Shivpal’s idea was to rope in former MLAs, MPs and senior leaders from various parties, especially the Samajwadi Party, to give a boost to his party’s support base ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Most of these former elected representatives joined the PSPL after either losing hope of getting a ticket from the Samajwadi Party to contest elections or being ousted from the party during the feud between Shivpal Yadav and his nephew and SP president Akhilesh Yadav.

Shivpal parted ways with the SP in August last year to form a political front Samajwadi Secular Morcha. Later, he floated his political party (PSPL).

Former MLAs Sukhdevi Verma, Sandhya Katheria, Jai Singh Yadav, Sangam Lal Shukla, Sharafatyar Khan, Ram Darshan Yadav, Azim Bhai, Naziva Khan Zeenat, Manik Chand, Ashish Yadav Ashu, Pramod Gupta and Sundar Lal Lodhi have joined hands with Shivpal.

Former ministers Sharda Pratap Shukla, Shadab Fatima, KamalYusuf Malik, Jai Prakash Yadav, and Shyam Lal Rawat, and ex-MPs Raghuraj Shakya and Virpal Yadav have also joined the PSPL.

Many of them were denied tickets by the Samajwadi Party and are expecting to contest the Lok Sabha elections as PSPL candidates.

Four-time MLA Sukhdevi Verma, 66, who was the sitting SP MLA from Bharthana seat (Etawah) and denied ticket for 2017 assembly elections, has now joined PSPL.

“Thousands of people who had quit SP are now joining Shivpal ji. Many more SP leaders will join us after being denied tickets,” she said.

Verma herself is hopeful of getting a ticket from Etawah Lok Sabha seat.

During PSPL’s first show of strength in Lucknow on December 9, Shivpal had given an open invitation to all such people – within and outside the Samajwadi Party – to join PSPL for their honour, political identity, or if they are feeling frustrated in their party.

Chief spokesman of PSPL CP Rai said: “As of now, we have 52 ex-legislators. The number will soon cross 100.”

PSPL leader and Shivpal’s close aide Deepak Mishra said, “Any former MLA, MP or experienced candidate has a lot of potential to win. Many are joining us. Shivpal ji’s party might be new but it is a giant.”

Shivpal reportedly has a couple of sitting MLAs by his side, though they have not yet joined the party. Amanmani Tripathi and Vijay Yadav won elections after they contested as independent candidates after SP denied tickets to them.

Since the family feud, both have been in the Shivpal camp and had voted with him for the National Democractic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential elections. Tripathi and Yadav had also attended Shivpal’s December 9 rally.

Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had contested the Lucknow Cantonment seat in 2017 assembly elections, is also being seen at Shivpal’s political events.

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