Express News Service
LUCKNOW: Amid reports of a widening rift with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party–Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav took a jibe at his nephew on Wednesday. “I taught him how to walk and he went on trampling me,” Shivpal posted on Twitter.
Giving words to his pain without naming Akhilesh, the PSPL chief tweeted: “I tried to satisfy him by touching the nadir of my self-respect! Despite this, if I am angry…to what extent he must have given pain to my heart.”
Notably, Shivpal had contested the recently-concluded UP Assembly elections in alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party purportedly at the behest of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Though Shivpal had demanded at least 50 seats, he was given just one (Jaswantnagar) to contest on the SP symbol. Even his son Aditya was not accommodated by Akhilesh. This attitude of the SP chief miffed Shivpal and his disappointment grew when he was not invited to the first meeting of SP MLAs after the assembly elections on the pretext of being just an ally and not an SP member.
On the contrary, Shivpal said that he had contested and won the Jaswantnagar seat on the SP symbol, so the party should have invited him to the MLAs meeting where Akhilesh was elected leader of the legislature party and hence the leader of Opposition in the Assembly. Sources close to Shivpal claimed that he was nurturing the ambition to get the post of leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
In fact, Shivpal had parted ways from SP in 2018 when Akhilesh had stripped him of all the party positions and ministerial berth after becoming the party’s president by deposing father Mulayam Singh Yadav on Janaury 1, 2017, just before the Assembly elections.
The rift was rectified ahead of the 2022 assembly elections but resurfaced when Shivpal was not invited for a meeting of SP MLAs. Feeling sidelined, the PSPL leader delayed taking oath as legislator.
After taking oath, Shivpal Yadav met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, triggering speculation of his possible crossover to the BJP.
Even Akhilesh Yadav did not let go any opportunity to take a swipe at his uncle especially over reports of his growing proximity to the BJP.
In the meantime, Shivpal met SP stalwart and jailed MLA from Rampur Azam Khan, who is also said to be unhappy and disillusioned with the SP leadership alleging neglect and lack of support in trying times.
Shivpal had rued that the SP under the leadership of Mulayam Singh Yadav did not agitate in Parliament on the Azam Khan issue.
Amid the widening rift with Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal did not rule out forming a front with jailed SP leader Azam Khan saying a decision over the issue would be taken at an appropriate time after Azam comes out of jail.
Meanwhile, the hearing in Azam Khan’s bail plea in connection with illegal occupation of waqf land is on in the High Court and will continue on Thursday as well. The 10-time MLA from Rampur is in Sitapur jail for over 26 months in connection with multiple cases.
Speaking in favour of Azam Khan, the PSPL chief said he was being harassed over “small cases”.