Will Shivpal Turn ‘Uncle Sabotage’ For Akhilesh? Looks Like It 

Will Shivpal Turn ‘Uncle Sabotage’ For Akhilesh? Looks Like It 

by Atul Chandra - Feb 5, 2017 04:05 AM +05:30 IST
Will Shivpal Turn ‘Uncle Sabotage’ For Akhilesh? Looks Like It Shivpal Yadav (left) and Akhilesh Yadav 
  • The uncle may be able to damage the nephew in traditional Yadav strongholds

Mulayam Singh Yadav may be doing a flip flop on whether to campaign for the Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance candidates but his brother Shivpal Yadav is not so unsure of his moves against Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, his nephew.

The angst of the former minister rang out loud when he said in Jaswantnagar (Etawah) that the youth who get everything in inheritance do not respect their elders. After filing his papers from his traditional seat on January 31, the one-time right hand of Mulayam also threatened to form a new party after the elections.

In what indicated a threat of sabotage, Shivpal said, “You form the government, we will make a new party after March 11.”

He also said that he will campaign for rebels who were denied the party ticket but were contesting against the official nominees. Shivpal wielded the threat a day after Mulayam read out a statement in Delhi to announce that he was unhappy with the alliance which his son had entered into with Rahul Gandhi’s Congress and that he would not campaign for the party.

This article is part of our special coverage of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh 
This article is part of our special coverage of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh 

Although Akhilesh did not take any action against his estranged uncle, he did issue a warning from the neighbouring district of Etah that those trying to sabotage the party would not be spared.

A mellowed Shivpal later said that he would decide his next course of action after the elections are over. His main grievance, like that of Mulayam, was that those who had worked hard in their constituencies had been left out cold by the party. About 35 legislators who are believed to be Shivpal’s loyalists did not make it to Akhilesh’s list. Others became victims of the seat-sharing formula between SP and Congress. Many of these candidates are in the fray.

If Mulayam does not campaign for the party nominees and Shivpal campaigns for the rebels against the official SP candidates, it could prove disastrous for Akhilesh-Rahul combine and give BJP a clear advantage.

In the confusion, Yadavs and Muslims may even vote for the rebels.

The Muslim vote pie may eventually get divided between the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and the rebels, making the BJP’s task that much easier. A small chunk of Yadavs may also drift towards the rebels and queer the pitch for Akhilesh.

Shivpal, who was ousted as state president of the Samajwadi Party and unceremoniously sacked as the state’s PWD minister, harbours a grudge against Akhilesh. In the feud that rocked Mulayam’s family, Shivpal only got ignominy for his proximity with Amar Singh. Even Mulayam, it is believed, who may have given the impression that he was siding with his brother, was in reality with Akhilesh, his first born and true heir.

The question left unanswered, however, is that why didn’t Shivpal resign from the party like Ambika Chaudhary and Narad Rai and contest as an Independent? Sources in the SP were of the view that if 30-40 rebels get elected Shivpal could play the spoiler for Akhilesh in a hung assembly.

Atul Chandra is former Resident Editor, The Times of India, Lucknow. He has written extensively on politics in Uttar Pradesh.

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