Lucknow/Etawah: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday presented his party’s flag to his uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) founder Shivpal Singh Yadav in Saifai, indicating a merger of the two parties.
Though an official announcement of the merger is yet to be made by either of the two parties, the event and comments of the two leaders dropped ample hints towards it.
“People wanted us to come together. Today we have become one at the right moment. Now in 2024, we will contest elections together,” Shivpal Yadav told reporters at Saifai in Etawah district.
When asked whether he accepted the SP flag, the PSPL head said, “Now it will be there on my car.”
Sharing a picture of him giving an SP flag to Shivpal Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted in Hindi, “With coming together of SP-PrSP (Samajwadi Party-Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party), the strength of Samajwadi movement and positive politics of harmony has doubled.”
As SP candidate Dimple Yadav gained a massive lead of over two lakh votes in the Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll, both the leaders sat together in their native Saifai village, where the SP chief presented his party’s flag to Shivpal Yadav in the presence of PSPL chief’s son Aditya Yadav and a large number of their supporters.
Later, they posted photographs of the event on Twitter. An SP flag was also put on Shivpal Yadav’s car by the party’s workers.
After the development in Etawah, flags of PSPL were removed from its office on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg in Lucknow. Both Shivpal Yadav and their son Aditya Yadav also updated their Twitter bio as SP leaders.
“We will remain together. My blessings will be with him (Akhilesh) for a lifetime. Now the SP flag will not come down from my vehicle,” Shivpal Yadav said.
About his role in SP, he said, “I will fulfil whatever responsibility is given to me by the party.”
Amid ups and downs in their relations, ‘chacha-bhatija‘ (Shivpal Yadav and his nephew Akhilesh Yadav) came together to ensure the victory of Dimple Yadav in the bypoll necessitated after the demise of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The reunion of the two is for the fourth time in six years when they had separated after a power tussle. Before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections held early this year, the two leaders had come together after a meeting in the presence of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
But, after the poll results, the two again parted ways. After the last break-up, Shivpal Yadav was seen in the company of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and had also supported NDA Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu.
The Mainpuri bypoll after the death of Mulayam Singh once again brought them together and ensured Dimple Yadav’s massive victory in the by-election.
Seeking to cash in on Shivpal Yadav distancing from Akhilesh, the BJP had fielded his protege Raghuraj Singh Shakya against Dimple Yadav but its calculation went wrong following a patch-up between the uncle and the nephew.
The saffron party’s anger against Shivpal Yadav was visible in the state government downgrading his security from ‘Z’ to ‘Y’ category and the chief minister likening him to a pendulum and football. Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav had retorted to the CM’s comments.