UP Assembly polls: Shivpal wants 20 seats but ready to adjust

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Hours after Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav met and decided on an alliance for the upcoming UP elections, reports of seat sharing between the two have also started emerging.

According to sources, Shivpal has asked for 20 seats while the SP is in a mood to part with only five.

“This is not going to be a major issue because Shivpal is even ready to let his candidates contest on SP symbol and this is acceptable to Akhilesh. Winnability is the main issue for both the leaders,” said a SP leader who shares a good rapport with the two.

PSPL chief spokesperson Deepak Mishra said Shivpal’s priority is to ensure BJP’s defeat in the upcoming polls and Thursday’s meeting was a step towards that. Seat sharing formula should not be a problem as both the parties have the common and only objective of defeating the communal forces.

Immediately after meeting Akhilesh, Shivpal Yadav had apprised him of the details of the meeting.

Sources in SP said Akhilesh would be willing to let Shivpal and his aides contest the Assembly elections on SP symbol.

“This does not necessarily mean that Shivpal Yadav’s PSPL will have to merge with the SP formally. At the same time, this does not mean that anyone in SP is opposed to the possibility of PSPL formally merging with SP,” said a leader.

Meanwhile, it is evident that the meeting between Akhilesh and Shivpal has sent a sense of relief between their respective cadres.

SP leaders crowded around Shivpal Yadav at a wedding function on Thursday night and chatted with him.

“There is definitely a sense of relief because we have worked with both the leaders for years. We are happy that differences have been sorted out and there is new hope in the party. No one can stop us from coming back to power now,” said a senior SP leader.

The meeting between Akhilesh and Shivpal on Thursday ended a five-year-old family feud that had led to a split in SP with Shivpal floating his own party-the PSPL.

This was the first occasion when Akhilesh formally visited Shivpal’s home since the uncle-nephew battle that began before the 2017 Assembly elections and spelt a humiliating defeat for SP.

In between, SP allied with Congress in 2017 and with BSP in 2019 but the party could not regain its lost glory.

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