Mu­layam Singh’s daugh­ter-in-law backs Shiv­pal front

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION - Man­ish Chan­dra Pandey

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 Luc­­dress­ing 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.

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