Lucknow: 'Peace talks' within the warring Yadav family of the Samajwadi Party seem to have failed, with party patriarch Mulayam Singh's younger brother Shivpal now geared up to launch his political outfit by mid-October.
Shivpal had announced the formation of a break-away group, Samajwadi Secular Morcha, a few days ago and had invited "all those who are not being respected in the SP" to join him.
Sources say that following younger brother’s announcement, SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had tried to intervene and pursue a truce between Akhilesh and Shivpal.
However, neither Mulayam’s son Akhilesh nor brother Shivpal were in a mood for ‘peace talks’. Sources say SP patriarch's efforts were stone-walled by Shivpal, as the latter sought for an assurance that not just he but his loyalist should also be ‘accommodated with respect’ within the party.
Infact, those who know about the discussion between the brothers, say that Shivpal even requested Mulayam to come and join the soon-to-be created political party. Shivpal offered him to be his party’s national president, while he would be “content” to take on the position of working president.
Mulayam, however, turned down the proposal. Meanwhile, Akhilesh too is now in a mood to settle the leadership issue for once and all. A senior leader close to Akhilesh said, “What possibility of a truce now exists when, Shivpal ji has not even an iota of remorse and is openly dancing to the tunes of the BJP.”
The leader, not willing to be quoted, said, “What assurance we have that if the truce is brokered, Shivpal ji will stop raising red flags within the party. It's better things are settled finally.'
Shivpal has moved beyond the stage of a truce is clear from what he said on Thursday in Etawah and before that to News18 in Lucknow. “Our new political party will play a significant role in the 2019 lok Sabha elections. We will play a prominent role in strengthening the secular block against the BJP,” he said.
Reliable sources in the Shivpal camp say that the ground work for floating a new party is being done. Names are being finalised, while spokespersons are likely to be selected soon, followed by district units and office bearers. By mid-October formalities related to registration will be completed.
Politically speaking, the move will clearly be an advantage to the BJP. Akhilesh camp is already accusing Shivpal of playing at the hands of the saffron party, though, following instructions from the top and as a political strategy, SP leaders are not reacting to these developments.
However, in off-the-record conversations, they do say that Shivpal, Amar Singh and BJP are one axis. Through likes of Shivpal and Amar Singh, BJP will try to play on the rift within the SP, thereby attempting to discredit the BSP-SP alliance.
The party, therefore, just wants to ‘ignore’ Shivpal. Understanding is that discussing him too much will only give him ‘undue prominence’. It's because of this strategy that even Akhilesh has chosen not to personally respond against his uncle.
Last time, when he was questioned by the media on Shivpal's announcement of forming a secular morcha, Akhilesh had only said, “My party and I are only focused on 2019 polls. It’s our sole agenda. We will not be diverted by any other issue than polls.”