‘No patch-up’: Amid denials, Akhilesh, Shivpal Yadav patch-up rumours float again

Rumours of a possible patch-up between Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L) president Shivpal Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav are afloat once again in the political circles in Uttar Pradesh.

Pictures of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh and Shivpal in a single frame when UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath called on the SP patriarch to enquire about his health on Monday is the latest trigger for the patch-up murmurs.

Even a categorical denial by the PSP-L chief has failed to stop discussions on the possibility of a reunion in the Yadav family.

“There will be no patch-up, no merger of PSPL with any party. We are a new party, a strong party. Defeats happen, we will consolidate and expand and be a force to reckon with in 2022 UP Assembly polls. We may enter into a suitable alliance as this is the age of alliances,” Shivpal told his party leaders at a stock-taking meeting on Monday.

CP Rai, the chief spokesperson of PSPL, said: “There has not been any mediation by Netaji. He is not playing any such role. And I am saying this officially.”

A Samajwadi Party leader also said: “There has not been any patch up move on the part of the SP.”

On June 5, some news portals had reported that Mulayam was playing a mediator and had called a meeting of the family, including Akhilesh and Shivpal. The meeting never happened.

Such rumours started floating after SP fared poorly in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. They re-surfaced when its 2019 LS poll ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced to go it alone in the bypolls in the state.

The split in the Yadav family began when in January 2017 Akhilesh became the national president of the party by replacing Mulayam. Shivpal lost the battle for the control of the party that the uncle and nephew were fighting since August 2016 when the nephew was the chief minister and the uncle a key minister in the government.

But when the SP lost the 2017 polls under Akhilesh’s leadership, rumour mills worked overtime predicting a reunion in the family. Then Shivpal’s purported terms for the return were restoration of the SP national president’s post to Mulayam and the state presidentship of the party to himself.

Akhilesh maintained the status quo and instead of reconciliation Shivpal formed his own political party ahead of 2019 general election.

He fielded candidates against the SP-BSP grand alliance all over the state and himself contested the Firozabad seat and lost.

“We are hurt by the defeat of our leader (Shivpal) but if you look at the larger picture, our stand has been vindicated by the stunning defeat of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’,” said PSPL spokesperson Deepak Mishra.

Professor SK Dwivedi, a political analyst and the retired head of the department of political science, Lucknow University, said: “I still think that political compulsions will bring the Yadav family back together. They have already hurt themselves too much.”

First Published:
Jun 12, 2019 11:39 IST

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