Akhilesh-Shivpal rift widens

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The rift between Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav and his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, who heads the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL), is growing wider by the day.

Akhilesh Yadav, while talking to reporters at a function in Mainpuri on Wednesday night, said: “If the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to take ‘Chacha’ (uncle), then they should not delay it.

“I have no issues with chacha ji (Shivpal), but the BJP should explain why it is so happy about him. Why are BJP leaders thinking so much about taking him? Why are BJP people delaying taking Chacha ji? You should think about what could be the reason behind this.”

Interestingly, Shivpal Yadav was also present at the function but he and Akhilesh did not come face to face.

Shivpal, on Thursday, responded by terming Akhilesh’s statement as “irresponsible and childish”.

“I am one of the 111 MLAs of the Samajwadi Party who won in the recent assembly elections. If he (Akhilesh) wants to send me to the BJP, then he should throw me out of the party. The statement is irresponsible and childish. I will inform the media about my decision at an appropriate time,” he said.

Last week, Shivpal Singh Yadav had visited SP leader Mohd Azam Khan who is lodged in Sitapur jail.

After the meeting, he came out with a strong statement when he said that the SP had done nothing to secure the release of Azam Khan.

“If Netaji (Mulayam Singh) wanted he could have spoken to the Prime Minister or sat on dharna in protest,” he had said.

The statement further fuelled speculations about the widening rift in the family and the party.

Shivpal had contested the recent state Assembly elections on the SP symbolfrom the Jaswantnagar seat.

He ended up winning, though the SP-led coalition lost the polls to the alliance headed by the BJP.

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