The rift between Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav seems to be widening. The SP leader said on Wednesday that if the Bharatiya Janata Party wants to take his “Chacha” (uncle) then it should not delay it. Shivpal responded, terming his nephew’s statement “irresponsible and childish”.
SP president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was at a condolence meeting in Etawah on Wednesday. His uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav also reached there, barely 10 minutes apart. Though the two leaders didn’t come face to face, they did take digs at each other.
“I have no issues with Chacha ji (Shivpal), but the BJP should explain why it is so happy about him. Why are BJP leaders thinking so much about taking him? Why are BJP people delaying taking Chacha ji? You should think about what could be the reason behind this,” Akhilesh told the media.
Shivpal had contested the recent UP assembly elections on the symbol of the Samajwadi Party from the Jaswantnagar seat. He ended up winning, though the SP-led coalition lost the polls to the alliance headed by the BJP.
After the election results, Shivpal felt a little isolated in the SP, say sources, and ever since then, there has been speculation of his growing closeness to the BJP. The buzz of his joining the saffron party intensified after a meeting between him and chief minister Yogi Adityanath and then the PSPL leader following Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.
However, Shivpal, who reached the condolence meeting shortly after Akhilesh left, told the media, “I am one of the 111 MLAs of the Samajwadi Party who won in the recent assembly elections. If he (Akhilesh) wants to send me to the BJP, then he should throw me out of the party. The statement is irresponsible and childish. I will inform the media about my decision at an appropriate time.”
On April 22, Shivpal Yadav had gone to meet jailed SP MP Azam Khan in Sitapur Jail and had stated that Akhilesh Yadav could have done much more for the Lok Sabha lawmaker. The meeting lasted for about 50 minutes.
“The UP chief minister is a saint and soft-hearted,” Shivpal said afterwards. “I will meet him and request help for Azam Khan. The Samajwadi Party has done nothing for a senior leader like him. Ideally, the SP chief should have sat on a ‘dharna’ in the Lok Sabha along with Neta ji (Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh’s father and Shivpal’s brother) and other opposition parties. PM Modi respects Neta ji and he would have definitely taken cognisance of the issue.”
The PSPL chief a few days ago had also spoken in favour of a uniform civil code. He then went to meet CM Adityanath at his official residence in Lucknow.
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