Mulayam Singh’s daughter-in-law backs Shivpal front
LUCKNOW: Rebel Samajwadi Party lawmaker Shivpal Yadav, widely seen as gravitating towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after falling out with his nephew and party chief Akhilesh Yadav, shared the stage with his brother SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav at a function in Lucknow.
During the function, held to mark the foundation day of the Rashtriya Krantikari Samajwadi Party, led by Gopal Rai, Shivpal was being hailed as a ‘future UP CM’ in the presence of leaders of 24 smaller parties.
Aparna’s first public appearance with “chachaji”, since Shivpal formed his Samajwadi Secular Morcha (SSM) on August 29, came a day after Mulayam attended Shivpal’s function in Lucknow.addressing the crowd, Aparna urged that Shivpal’s morcha be strengthened, highlighting that if there was any leader or family member in the Samajwadi Party whom she had utmost respect for, after Mulayam, it was “chachaji”. “I would appeal to all to strengthen the Secular Morcha,” she said.
Shivpal, meanwhile, kept his address brief, staying clear of naming anyone but dropping loaded political words, like “bada nirnay (big decision)” and “bada kaam (big work)”.
The development also comes a day after the Bjp-led Uttar Pradesh government allotted Shivpal the high-profile 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg bungalow, previously allotted to former UP chief minister Mayawati.
The palatial bungalow shares its boundary with Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha office and Shivpal intends to use it as an office for his Secular Morcha. Shivpal is scheduled take out a 70-kilometre road show from Etawah to Firozabad on Sunday to establish his Morcha in the Yadav belt. The allotment of a bungalow, being eyed by both senior leaders in the government and the Opposition, to an MLA, had raised eyebrows in political circles.
“I am a senior politician and there were intelligence reports of a threat on me,” said Shivpal to justify the allotment.
Speculation is rife in political circles that the BJP government is also reviewing security arrangements for Shivpal and is planning to upgrade his security cover to Z plus. However, senior police officials, including those in the security wing, refused to comment. “It hasn’t come to us so far. We will decide when it comes to us,” said a senior official of the security establishment.
Shivpal has declared that his Morcha will put up candidates for 2019 Lok Sabha elections and has shown willingness to offer the Mainpuri seat to his elder brother and SP patron Mulayam, who has already announced his decision to shift from Azamgarh to Mainpuri in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has confirmed that Mulayam will contest from Mainpuri but Shivpal’s offer is being viewed as an attempt to queer the pitch for Akhilesh.