Family feud shadows SP campaign in Phase III

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on February 17, 2017

Sworn enemies A file photograph of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav

UP poll eps

up polls eps

On last day of campaign, Akhilesh says his is the ‘real SP’, makes veiled attack on Shivpal

The internal feud in the ruling Samajwadi Party’s first family threatens to shake its campaign in the central Uttar Pradesh region, where it has traditionally won the maximum number of seats in any election.

Parts of Awadh-central UP vote this coming Sunday, but the main players – Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav – took swipes at each other in public meetings on the last day of the campaign on Friday. The rivals made the most of this spectacle with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Maywati saying, “The way Mulayam Yadav has insulted his brother Shivpal Yadav everywhere, Shivpal and his team will surely harm Akhilesh and his team.”

Meanwhile, Akhilesh targeted his uncle Shivpal in the SP’s bastion of Etawah, asserting that it was not the uncle, but he, who is leading “the real” SP. The CM also warned “those out to weaken him”.

“Those in whom I had confidence have created a rift between me and Netaji (Mulayam). They wanted to snatch the ‘cycle’ (the SP’s symbol) from me,” Akhilesh said at his first election meeting in Etawah late on Thursday night.

In a clear reference to his estranged uncle who is contesting from the neighbouring Jaswantnagar seat, Akhilesh said: “These very people want to float a new party ... the election here is different from what is being fought in the State. Here efforts are to defeat me...people of Etawah should not fall prey to any such design.”

“Thousands of people are sitting here. Ours is the real Samajwadi Party. It is a fact that my visit here has not been frequent but then the situation was different. But I will take care of Etawah and spend more time,” he said here.

Shivpal’s new party

On the day he filed his nomination papers, Shivpal had announced that he would float a new party once the elections are conducted in the State.

“Some people had conspired to throw me out of the party, but I did not allow them to succeed in their designs...I have worked for development and brought welfare schemes but they wanted to weaken me,” Akhilesh said without taking any name.

Meanwhile, Shivpal said he is the one who had Mulayam’s blessings. “I have Netaji’s (Mulayam) blessings and whatever he orders, I will always abide by it,” he said.

Of the total 69 seats spread across the districts of Farrukhabad, Hardoi, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kanpur Nagar, Unnao, Lucknow, Barabanki and Sitapur, the SP had picked up a staggering 55 seats in the 2012 elections. The Congress, which is now aligned with the SP, had won only two seats and an independent had won from Farrukhabad. The BJP won four seats in Kanpur.

Published on February 17, 2017
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