LUCKNOW: Two days after announcing the launch of a secular front, senior Samajwadi Party leader and former party State chief Shivpal Yadav, on Friday, said it would be headed by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The secular front would serve as an umbrella to all like-minded State and national leaders, he added.
Shivpal’s reiteration came after Akhilesh provided no indication of relinquishing the party leadership in favour of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav despite repeated calls by his uncle Shivpal.
Such demands have been cropping up from other quarters as well with many, including Mulayam’s chhoti bahu Aparna Yadav, asking Akhilesh to keep his promise and return the party leadership to netaji.
“The secular front will be formed to restore the lost glory and stature of netaji and to secure the rights and causes of the ignored sections of the society,” said Shivpal after a meeting with Mulayam at his brother-in-law Ajant Singh’s house in Etawah on Friday.
However, Shivpal did not give any indication of a split in SP to carve out the new front as he said the secular front would strengthen the Samajwadi Party.
On May 3, Shivpal Yadav had announced the proposal to launch the front and had asked SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to hand over the party baton to ‘Netaji’. He had advised Akhilesh to unite the family in the interest of the SP which was losing its sheen after its defeat in the recently-concluded UP Assembly polls.
On details of the proposed Morcha, Shivpal said he would now contact senior State and national leaders of all like-minded parties to be a part of the outfit in the fight against communal forces.
“Rest of the modalities will be finalised in Lucknow,” he stated while talking to media persons. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, however, feigned ignorance saying he might not be in the loop of such moves but was well aware of the intentions of party betrayers.
“Secular Front ban raha hai achchhi baat hai par mujhe jankari nahi hai” (It’s good that Secular Front is coming up but I am not aware of it),” he said. “Hum log aasteen ke saanp ko pehchante hain (We are aware of betrayers),” he pointed out in an obvious reference to uncle Shivpal.
Meanwhile, UP Congress called it an insult to the feelings of SP workers who had chosen Akhilesh Yadav as their president to head the party.
“This front will serve no purpose as it will come up against the wishes of SP workers. It is nothing but another manifestation of the simmering family feud in SP’s first family which is far from over,’ said Dwijendra Tripathi, Congress spokesman.