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Besides Kovind vs Kumar, It's Yadav vs Yadav Today

Breaking rank, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal Yadav are supporting Kovind, defying former chief minister and de facto party chief Akhilesh Yadav who had declared support for Meira Kumar.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:July 17, 2017, 12:58 PM IST
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New Delhi: The country is witnessing a presidential battle between NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind and opposition candidate Meira Kumar. And this battle has led to another one in the Samajwadi Party.

Breaking ranks, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his brother Shivpal Yadav are supporting Kovind, defying former chief minister and de facto party chief Akhilesh Yadav who had declared support for Meira Kumar.

“We were not consulted before the Samajwadi Party decided to support Meira Kumar. Ram Nath Kovind is a secular person. He is a man of reputation. Netaji (Mulayam) and I, along with many others, have decided to support him. This is not siding with ‘insecular’ bloc. Kovind is secular,” Shivpal Yadav said on Monday.

Mulayam's vote for Kovind became clear the very day he openly described him as a "strong candidate". "Ram Nath Kovind is a good candidate. I have a very old relation with him. The BJP has selected a strong candidate. The most important thing is that the BJP has a majority," Mulayam had said last month.

Shivpal, too, had said he would do as advised by his brother. "Netaji jo kahenge wahi hoga (Whatever Netaji says will happen)," he had said.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's last visit to Lucknow on June 20, Mulayam had met him at a dinner hosted by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, sending clear signals that he would back the NDA nominee.

Significantly, the dinner was skipped by Akhilesh and BSP chief Mayawati.

Mulayam was removed from the party's national president post and made a patron by Akhilesh in January at the peak of the
dissidence in the party.

| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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