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UP Polls: As Akhilesh, Uncle Shivpal Reunite, Move Could Prevent SP Vote Split

Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a picture of the two, saying that an alliance had been decided between the two parties.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
UP Polls: As Akhilesh, Uncle Shivpal Reunite, Move Could Prevent SP Vote Split
i

Samajwadi Party (SP) Chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday, 16 December, announced an alliance with his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) (PSPL) for the upcoming 2022 Assembly elections.

The two leaders held a closed-door meeting at Shivpal Singh Yadav's residence in Lucknow for about 45 minutes, after which Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a picture of the two, saying that an alliance had been decided between the two parties.

"There was a meeting with the National President of PSPL, and the matter of alliance was decided. The policy of taking regional parties along is continuously strengthening the SP and leading the SP and other allies to a historic victory," Akhilesh Yadav tweeted in Hindi after the meeting.

According to PTI, supporters of both the parties had gathered outside Shivpal's residence and were raising the slogan of "Chacha-Bhatija zindabad".

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What Had Happened Between the Two?

The relationship between the two leaders had deteriorated in 2016 after Akhilesh Yadav, then the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had sacked Shivpal Singh Yadav. While Akhilesh went to become the SP president in 2017, Shivpal formed his own party.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP's Akshay Yadav had lost the Firozabad seat as Shivpal Yadav had played spoiler. Shivpal secured 91,869 votes, while the BJP won the Firozabad seat by a handsome margin of 28,000 votes. The loss was an embarrassing one as the seat had been a traditional stronghold of the Yadav family, with Akhilesh Yadav winning it in 2009 and Ram Gopal Yadav's son Akshay winning it in 2014.

Besides Firozabad, PSPL candidates had made their presence felt in Lok Sabha seats like Sultanpur, Unnao, Mohanlalganj, and Banda.

Impact of the Alliance

It remains to be seen how many seats the SP allots to Shivpal Singh Yadav's party and whether he would get to contest from his seat Jaswantnagar, which includes the Yadav family village in Saifai.

However, the alliance will prevent a split of SP votes in their bastions in districts like Mainpuri and Etawah. Moreover, the possibility of candidates being denied tickets by SP contesting under PSPL tickets also might be prevented.

At a time when Akhilesh Yadav's main mission is to take the SP beyond its Muslim-Yadav vote bank through alliances with smaller parties like the Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, the last thing that he can afford is a leakage within the Yadav vote bank.

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BJP Reacts

Meanwhile, UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said the alliance between the two parties would not impact BJP's prospects in the polls.

"BJP is going to form a majority government again in 2022 by winning over 300 seats. Whether there was a meeting of 'Chacha' 'Bhatija' (uncle-nephew) or 'Bua' 'Bhatija' (aunt-nephew) or SP or Congress or all of them, only lotus (BJP's election symbol) will bloom," he said.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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