Shivpal back to forefront in SP’s scheme of things - Hindustan Times
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Shivpal back to forefront in SP’s scheme of things

Aug 17, 2023 11:59 PM IST

On Wednesday, Shivpal Yadav opened the party’s cadre training camp ‘Lok Jagran Abiyan’ in Banda. On Thursday, Akhilesh Yadav concluded the camp with a speech to party workers and leaders.

LUCKNOW The long-standing political feud between Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav that had spiced up Uttar Pradesh politics for a long time since 2017 seems history now.

SP national general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav at party’s ‘Lok Jagran Abiyan’ in Banda on Wednesday. (Sourced)
SP national general secretary Shivpal Singh Yadav at party’s ‘Lok Jagran Abiyan’ in Banda on Wednesday. (Sourced)

Even as Akhlesh keeps the larger alliances and strategies to himself, he has brought Shivpal back to the forefront of organisational management of the party, which is likely to give the much-needed boost to the cadre in run-up to Lok Sabha polls next year.

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On Wednesday, Shivpal Yadav opened the party’s cadre training camp ‘Lok Jagran Abiyan’ in Banda. On Thursday, Akhilesh Yadav concluded the camp with a speech to party workers and leaders.

The SP had launched the campaign in June this year to prepare the party cadre for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Banda’s was the third in the series. Shivpal, meanwhile, opened the fourth edition of the campaign in Fatehpur district later in the day.

Akhilesh has tasked Shivpal with cadre training. He was known for his cadre connect ability even during party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s time.

“The reunion is an old thing now. Now one should observe the impact of the reunion. The kind of training camps that are going on had never happened before in the Samajwadi Party. Both Shivpal, who was made party’s national general secretary in January this year, and Akhilesh are conducting these camps”, said senior SP leader Sudhir Panwar.

Several close aides of Shivpal Yadav were given a place In the SP’s state executive committee announced last week. The party and also Shivpal Yadav have dropped enough hints that Shivpal could be its candidate from Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat in next year’s LS polls.

“The two are indeed sending a good signal within the party and outside. I had always said that both should bury the hatchet sooner than later, work together and present a strong alternative to people in elections. In a democracy, a strong opposition and an alternative is important”, said Prof SK Dwivedi, a political analyst and former head, political science department, Lucknow University.

To recall, Akhilesh and Shivpal got locked in a bitter feud when the former was the U.P. chief minister and the latter a heavyweight minister in his cabinet. The feud surfaced in 2016 and got intensified over the party’s control as the 2017 assembly polls approached.

It culminated with Akhilesh taking control of the party and becoming its national president and Shivpal’s ouster. No mediation by the then SP national president Mulayam Singh Yadav could work.

Shivpal subsequently formed his own party and contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls against the SP and damaged Akhilesh on a couple of seats.

The SP, which contested the 2019 LS polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party, could bag only five seats. Prior to this, the SP had contested the 2017 UP assembly polls in alliance with the Congress and was unseated.

Subsequently, the run-up to the 2022 U.P. assembly polls saw a thaw in political relationship between Akhilesh and Shivpal. Akhilesh made Shivpal’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L) an alliance but gave it only one seat--Jaswantnagar (Etawah) which Shivpal won. However, the thaw was short-lived and the relationship froze soon after the 2022 poll results.

It was the 2022 Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll that turned out to be a turning point in Shivpal-SP relationship. The Yadav family members wanted Akhilesh’s wife and former Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav to contest Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll that was necessitated after Mulayam Singh Yadav’s demise.

Shivpal supported Dimple Yadav. Akhilesh later brought Shivpal back into the party and the latter merged his party with the SP.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Pankaj Jaiswal is Chief of Bureau, Uttar Pradesh and covers politics. His continued interest in rural, distress, and development journalism, fetched him a handful of prestigious awards and fellowships. Pankaj is a photo-journalist too and tweets at @augustus29lotus

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