Yadavs reunited: Diwali brings Akhilesh, Mulayam and Shivpal together in Saifai
The family feud between the Akhilesh and Shivpal factions started ahead of the 2017 assembly elections and Mulayam joined the Shivpal camp while Ramgopal allied with Akhilesh.lucknow Updated: Oct 20, 2017 10:24 IST
Festivities returned to the ‘Yadav Parivar’ as the former first family of Uttar Pradesh assembled in its ancestral village Saifai in Etawah district on the eve of Diwali and stayed on for the festival of light on Thursday, in another indication of a reconciliation following the bitter power tussle that started last year.
The family traditionally celebrates all prominent festivals together in Saifai, however, last year was an exception as Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, his father and party’s chief patron Mulayam Singh Yadav and his uncle — who is the Jaswant Nagar MLA — Shivpal Yadav did not meet for Diwali because of the feud over who would control the Samajwadi Party.
The Yadavs did not celebrate Holi together as well as the Yadav leaders visited Etawah on different dates.
On Thursday, Akhilesh, Mulayam, and Shivpal Yadav were all smiles as they greeted the people of Saifai on Diwali.
All the three leaders sat together and Akhilesh touched Shivpal’s feet. Mainpuri legislator and Mulayam’s grand-nephew Tej Pratap Singh Yadav was already there to greet Mulayam and others. Mulayam hugged his grand-daughter Tina, Akhilesh’s daughter, when she rushed to greet him.
The party’s national general secretary and Mulayam’s cousin Ramgopal Yadav, however, was not present during the festivities this year as well.
Mulayam also called upon the leaders and his family members to strengthen the party.
The family feud between the Akhilesh and Shivpal factions started last year ahead of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Mulayam joined the Shivpal camp while Ramgopal allied with Akhilesh. Ramgopal played a pivotal role in ensuring that Akhilesh was anointed to the post of the party president.
Experts also believe there are signs of some thaw in the father-son relationship. And, speculations are rife that following the Diwali get-together Shivpal, who still has not been restored in the state or national executive of the party, may get an honourable position.
Mulayam and Akhilesh shared a public platform after a gap of 11 months following the rift in the family at Ram Manohar Lohia Park in Lucknow last Thursday. On October 5, when Akhilesh was re-elected as the national president of the party, both Mulayam and Shivpal congratulated him.