After his reunion with nephew Akhilesh Yadav ahead of the Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) founder Shivpal Singh Yadav on Wednesday asked people to call the Samajwadi Party chief as "Chhote Netaji" as they used to call party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav as 'Netaji'.
Addressing an election rally in Jaswant Nagar in Mainpuri parliamentary constituency, Shivpal Yadav said, "You (Akhilesh) said in Karhal that there is no leader like Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav). I want to say that people of Mainpuri and Saifai used to call him 'bade mantri' (senior minister) and I was called 'chhote mantri (junior minister). Now I want you all to call Akhilesh as 'Chhote Netaji'."
People of Mainpuri and Etawah used to call Mulayam Singh Yadav as 'Netaji' and workers in Samajwadi Party also used to call him by the same name.
In a show of unity, Akhilesh Yadav and Dimple Yadav touched the feet of uncle Shivpal Yadav as they arrived on the dais for the Mainpuri bypoll campaigning.
Shivpal Yadav is campaigning for Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav in the Mainpuri seat, which fell vacant due to the death of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"She (Dimple Yadav) is my bahu and is a contestant in the election. I appeal to the people of Mainpuri to help her win the bypoll with an unprecedented margin," said Shivpal Yadav.
He also criticised BJP candidate Raguraj Singh Shakya who was once said to be very close to him.
"Some people call themselves 'shishya' (follower) but they are not. A true 'shishya' always seeks permission without leaving," said Shivpal Yadav, in an apparent attack on Mr Shakya.
"I was the one due to whom he got a job as a clerk. I got him to resign and helped him become MP twice," he added.
Mr Shakya had left Shivpal Yadav's party to join the BJP earlier this year.
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