LUCKNOW: Despite failing to get a positive response on clinching an alliance with Samajawadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav so far, his uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party president Shivpal Yadav is still hopeful of an understanding with his parent party ahead of the UP elections. Shivpal has made it clear that his priority was to form an alliance with the SP but has not ruled out a tie-up with other “secular” parties.
“Our priority is to have an alliance with the SP. It would be good if we join hands. But we are open to alliance with like-minded parties with secular values,” said Shivpal who exited from the SP in 2018 after a family feud during which Akhilesh took over the party reins and stripped him of all the party positions and cabinet berth in 2017.
“Our Samajik Parivartan Yatra took off from Mathura on October 12, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. It will cover all 75 districts before concluding at Ayodhya on November 27,” added Shivpal. As per party sources, Akhilesh hinted to Shivpal that he favoured a merger to which the latter was not prepared.
However, a political expert asserted that if the uncle-nephew duo joins hands before the poll, it will boost the SP’s prospects. “Shivpal is still revered among the Samajwadis as he has put in his blood and sweat with patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in nurturing the party. People are still unhappy with his unceremonious exit. If Shivpal and Akhilesh come together, the SP will perform better than what it will if it contests without Shivpal,” said Prof A K Mishra.
Shivpal has been approached by AIMIM chief Assaduddin Owaisi and Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad. Both are part of OP Rajbhar’s Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha. The possibility of Shivpal joining the BSM cannot be ruled out if the alliance with SP fails to materialise.