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After Father, Now Uncle Dares Akhilesh; Is SP Headed for a Post-poll Split

When it all seemed well under control for Samajwadi Party president And UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, a serious threat to his leadership erupted yet again from within his own family.

Pranshu Mishra | News18.com

Updated:January 31, 2017, 8:34 PM IST
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After Father, Now Uncle Dares Akhilesh; Is SP Headed for a Post-poll Split
File image of Shivpal Yadav. (Photo Credit: PTI)
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Lucknow: When it all seemed well under control for Samajwadi Party president And UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, a serious threat to his leadership erupted yet again from within his own family.

Just a day after party veteran Mulayam singh, criticising the much celebrated SP-congress alliance and declaring not to campaign for it, it's now Akhilesh's uncle Shivpal, who has hit hard, declaring to form a new party immediately after the counting of votes for UP Polls.

Shivpal chose to ‎speak his mind, just minutes after filling his nomination as a SP candidate from Jaswantnagar in Etawah. Political observers see a strong message in the timing of this threat.

The intent is clear, it's an open dare to Akhilesh: a party candidate and an important man from within the family rebelling against his own president.

The question now is that having escaped a split before polls, is the Samajwadi party headed for split post polls?

A leader close to Shivpal, willing not to be quoted, claims Shivpal's latest statement is not in isolation. It's a plan of a well considered script and that too with support of Mulayam Singh.

"There is a clear connect between what Mulayam said yesterday and Shivpal's declaration to form a new party‎," added the senior leader.

The fact that Both Shivpal and Mulayam chose to lie low, ever since Akhilesh won the battle in Election Commission, was part of the strategy.

The strategy is to project the 'battle against Akhilesh' not on grounds of a father versus the son or an uncle versus the nephew, but on more sensible political grounds of standing for party's interests, in the backdrop of its alliance with the Congress party.

While addressing his supporters, after filing his nomination in Etawah, Shivpal said: "First it was deliberate insult for Mulayam Singh, when he(Mulayam) was removed from the post of national president. Further, the alliance with the Congress has come as another setback to party's interests."

"Interests of several leaders and workers have been compromised with. We will form a new party after 11th March," said Shivpal.

Both Mulayam and Shivpal have begun the mobilisation from within and outside the party against Akhilesh Yadav.

A crucial part of their strategy is first to ensure defeat of the 'Congress-SP alliance' in the polls.

It will be easy to wage a war, with Samajwadi Party being in opposition. If the alliance fails to strike a right chord and get numbers, it will not be easy for Akhilesh to curb the rebellion by his own uncle.

Caught between the warring factions of the Samajwadi party, is the Congress. Its leaders are now concerned about the impact of Mulayam and Shivpal's move.

A senior leader, who is also Congress' candidate from a seat in West UP, said,"Mulayam and Shivpal's comments can be disastrous for the alliance. After all, it will strengthen the belief of a weak Samajwadi Party, which then may fail to be a catalyst for the crucial minority votebank."

However, Congress was quick to dismiss the threat. The Congress Party's UP spokesperson Amarnath Agarwal said: "Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi have struck a perfect chord. It has been seen and well received by people of UP. Statements of some leaders can't impact the poll prospects of the alliance."

But amid claims and counter claims, the fact is that Akhilesh's road to political and electoral success is full of challenges.

Challenges not just from formidable 'Behenji' and an aggressive BJP under its President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but from within his own family.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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