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Ignored in SP, Shivpal floats party 

Lucknow, August 29

The uneasy truce within the Yadav family ended on Wednesday with Shivpal Yadav, estranged uncle of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, formally announcing the formation of a new party — Samajwadi Secular Morcha (SSM).

Shivpal invited “all those who are not being given respect” in the Samajwadi Party to join his new outfit. 

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Shivpal’s new morcha is a direct challenge to the leadership of his nephew and may cause confusion ahead of the formation of the SP-BSP alliance.

The development comes a day after Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh claimed that he had fixed Shivpal’s appointment with a senior BJP leader but he didn’t turn up.

After Amar Singh’s revelation, Shivpal met president of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party and Cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar. Three ministers in the Yogi Cabinet also spoke to Shivpal over the phone.

While Shivpal described the news of his joining the BJP “rumours”, he didn’t deny meeting the Yogi government ministers or talking to them. “Isn’t it good I’m speaking to ministers,” he quipped. He also spoke of the present SP leadership taking no notice of SP founder and elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying it had troubled him.

Interestingly, Shivpal had a long meeting with Mulayam on Tuesday, a day before he announced the new outfit.

Holding his cards close to his chest, Shivpal spoke of strengthening the morcha by mobilising supporters and getting smaller parties to join him, without revealing if he would contest the elections on his own. “Let events unfold, things would be clear,” he said.

Akhilesh reacted by saying: “As the elections draw closer, one should be prepared for many such developments. We have to ensure that such things do not distract us.”

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