Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, who is emerging as a major competitor to the BJP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, has agreed to reconcile with his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav.
Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, who is emerging as a major competitor to the BJP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, has agreed to reconcile with his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav. Akhilesh Yadav posted a photo of himself and Shivpal Yadav after a 45-minute meeting in Lucknow, saying the two had agreed to form an alliance for the key 2022 assembly poll.
After public disagreements with Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav, 66, split from the Samajwadi Party and created his own party, the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), ahead of the 2017 elections.
Shivpal Yadav has stated several times in the last year that he is open to reconciliation. His nephew, on the other hand, had made only a few non-committal words in return.
"There was a meeting with the National President of PSPL and the matter of alliance was decided. The policy of taking regional parties along is continuously strengthening the SP and leading the SP and other allies to a historic victory," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted.
The SP leader, whose rallies have been drawing ever-larger crowds, has expressed an interest in enlisting as many smaller parties as possible.
He has already forged alliances with the Janwadi Party (Socialist), the SBSP, Keshav Dev Maurya's Mahan Dal, Krishna Patel's Apna Dal group, and Jayant Chowdhury's Rashtriya Lok Dal.
Shivpal Yadav's party controls only a few seats in the Etawah region, but as a seasoned politician who was one of the founding members of the Samajwadi Party, his advice is likely to be invaluable to Akhilesh Yadav in the state's upcoming battle.
According to Samajwadi Party sources, the reconciliation will also convey a message of unity to the party's core voter base.
Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam Yadav's loyal younger brother and de-facto second-in-command, has feuded with his nephew over the party's leadership ahead of the 2017 elections.
After a messy squabble between Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother in January and February 2017, Akhilesh Yadav – who was also the Chief Minister at the time – had firmly consolidated his grip on the party.
Shivpal Yadav, who split away and created his own party, was defeated in the battle for the party's most prized item, the cycle poll emblem.
Another reason for voters' rejection of the Samajwadi Party, which had a campaign alliance with the Congress, was the Great Divide among the first family.