Shivpal Yadav, the estranged uncle of Akhilesh Yadav who had allied with the Samajwadi Party ahead of the election, today met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for what he described as a “courtesy visit”. The two met for 30 minutes, sources said. While no details of the discussion are available, the optics of the meeting are expected to weigh against the Samajwadi Party, which is seen to be in strong contention after its performance improved rapidly in the recently concluded chamber elections.
Sources close to Akhilesh Yadav said the uncle and nephew had an altercation when they last met on March 24.
“Shivpal Yadav has asked for a bigger organizational role but Akhilesh Yadav has suggested Shivpal expand his political party Pragatisheel Samajwadi with the support of SP,” a source told NDTV.
Although Shivpal Yadav set up his own political party ahead of the 2017 state assembly elections over the party’s control, he is still said to have huge strength in the SP.
The six-time MLA has contested on the Samajwadi Party ticket from the Jaswant Nagar seat in Etawah, but there is speculation that he may attract at least five MLAs from the SP if he chooses to side with the BJP.
The focus now is on the 2024 general election, any inclination towards the BJP by Shivpal Yadav is likely to be counted against Akhilesh Yadav.
The former Chief Minister has managed to prove himself as the only opposition to the BJP this time around, turning the state’s traditional multi-cornered contest into a bipolar contest.
The Samajwadi party has suffered a lot of face loss ahead of the election when Akhilesh Yadav’s sister -in -law Aparna Yadav – the wife of his brother Prateek Yadav – has quit the SP and joined the BJP.
The state BJP has tried to capitalize on the issue, claiming Mulayam Singh Yadav is not with the Samajwadi Party from his heart and his blessing is with his son -in -law’s party.
The Samajwadi party has won 125 seats in the election, up from 47 in 2017. Akhilesh Yadav has left his parliamentary seat to focus on the state ahead of the 2024 general election.