Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s rebellious uncle, Shivpal Yadav has threatened to form a new party after the elections.
After days of remaining in isolation, Mr. Shivpal Yadav spoke out in a defiant tone, hinting that the internal feud within the Samajwadi Party was far from over. Also, like his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr. Shivpal Yadav too was critical of the SP’s alliance with the Congress.
Mr. Shivpal Yadav has for the past few days been camping in the his home district, Etawah, and his remarks, made after he filed nomination from his seat, Jaswant Nagar, on the SP symbol, has given a new twist to the tension in the family.
After delving on how he had even considered contesting the election as an independent candidate, Mr. Shivpal Yadav fired a salvo. “You wait for the result on March 11. And after that result, we will form a new party,” he said, eliciting loud cheers from a gathering of his supporters. “Where will those people go who have been working hard for five years?”
His speech also laced with his trademark sarcasm, as he took pot shots at his nephew.
“Meherbani hai, ticket bhi de diya hai mujhe (I am so grateful, he has given me a ticket). Such benevolence! Otherwise I would have to contest as an independent. I was prepared for that too. Many friends wanted me to fight independently,” Mr. Shivpal Yadav said.
He said he had filed his nomination after facing “many obstacles” along the way, a reference to the fact that he had got ticket only on the insistence of Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mr. Shivpal Yadav’s name was also not included in the list of SP’s star campaigners.
His aggression assumes significance as it comes at a time when many members of the old guard close to Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav and him have openly rebelled against Mr. Akhilesh Yadav. Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav himself expressed his displeasure at the SP-Congress alliance and said he would appeal his followers to campaign against the Congress in the 105 seats it was fighting.
“I will not campaign for this alliance,” the Yadav patriarch had said on Sunday.
In an apparent response to his uncle, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, addressing a rally in Etah, said the Yadav family was united. “I have the blessings of Netaji (his father),” he said, claiming that the SP-Congress alliance would win over 300 seats.