Akhilesh Yadav's "reunion" with uncle Shivpal Yadav was apparently short-lived. Days after the Samajwadi Party lost the Uttar Pradesh election, Shivpal Yadav is set to end his alliance with his nephew, sources say.
Shivpal Yadav, the younger brother of Akhilesh Yadav's father and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, has been upset with his nephew for weeks.
He reportedly met with leaders of his Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party today and told them: “Be prepared for a big fight.”
Shivpal Yadav's meeting with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath yesterday has reinforced speculation that he is on the verge of a switch to the ruling BJP.
Speaking to NDTV, he confirmed the meeting but called it a “courtesy visit”.
“When the time comes, we will talk about it,” he said cautiously, responding to reporters' questions.
The fragile uncle-nephew bonhomie is at breaking point over differences that have been getting more and more pronounced since the election results.
Shivpal Yadav reportedly met with Akhilesh Yadav on March 24 (last Thursday), just a day before Yogi Adityanath's second oath ceremony, and asked for a bigger role in the Samajwadi Party.
Sources say Akhilesh Yadav reminded his uncle that he was an ally, not a member of the Samajwadi Party.
That point was pressed home once before when Akhilesh Yadav called a meeting of his party MLAs but did not invite Shivpal Yadav.
When Shivpal Yadav questioned Akhilesh Yadav, he was told that a separate meeting of Samajwadi Party allies would be held soon.
In December, Akhilesh Yadav announced that the Samajwadi Party and his uncle's outfit would contest the UP election in an alliance. They met for the first time in five years, after Shivpal Yadav broke away over a power tussle with his nephew.
Akhilesh Yadav had gone to his uncle's home, less than half a km from his own, and had reportedly touched his feet.
Shivpal Yadav was known to be the second most powerful minister in Akhilesh Yadav's 2012-2017 government in UP. Their feud escalated when Shivpal Yadav, reportedly on brother Mulayam Singh's direction, replaced Akhilesh Yadav as Samajwadi Party's UP chief.
Akhilesh Yadav responded by taking away all ministries assigned to his uncle.