LUCKNOW: Burying the hatchet and putting up a united face after a prolonged and intense family feud, the Samajwadi Party leadership was seen on a common platform with party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav flanked by younger brother Shivpal reaching out to greet cousin and party national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav on his 72nd birthday in Etawah on Friday.
It was after a gap of around two years that the first family of Samajwadi Party converged on one platform, reflecting bonhomie and the fact that the SP house was in order ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
While Mulayam gave his blessings to his sibling, Ram Gopal Yadav offered sweets to Shivpal Yadav and the two hugged each other before cutting the birthday cake jointly in the presence of party workers and friends.
However, while striking a cordial note, the former SP state chief could not hide his pain, which surfaced in his statement on the sidelines of the birthday celebrations. Talking to media persons, though Shivpal claimed that the family was one and that there was no rift among the members, he did not forget to add that it was he who had given his blood and sweat to nurture the party, without getting anything in return.
As per sources, the SP leader said that he did everything to help Mulayam become CM thrice and Akhilesh once in the state, but what he had got in return was humiliation and disgrace in his own party.
In the same vein, the SP leader also dropped a word of caution for the leadership of the party, in general, to keep sycophants at bay and keep the party free from elements detrimental to the party’s image. Ram Gopal chose to remain non-committal on the occasion.
Notably, consequent to over a year-long family feud, Shivpal has been left nothing more than being an MLA (from Jaswant Nagar) of the party. He was stripped of all party positions after Akhilesh officially took over as party's national president in January, 2017.
Meanwhile, Shivpal chose the occasion to attack Modi-led BJP government by claiming that there was an undeclared emergency like situation in the country under the BJP regime.
"Corruption is at its peak and we all will fight together. All the like-minded parties should join hands to uproot the present anti-people government at the Centre,” he added on the occasion for which invitation were extended to over three lakh people including SP workers.