This Article is From Jul 23, 2022

"Free To Leave": Akhilesh Yadav To Uncle, Ally Over BJP Camaraderie

In the letter to Mr Rajbhar, the party also said he has strong relations with the Bharatiya Janata Party and has been constantly working to strengthen them.

New Delhi:

The Samajwadi Party today wrote to party chief Akhilesh Yadav's uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav and ally Om Prakash Rajbhar saying they are free to join other parties if they feel they will get more respect there. 

In the letter to Mr Rajbhar, the party also said he has strong relations with the Bharatiya Janata Party and has been constantly working to strengthen them. 

Mr Rajbhar, who heads the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) which has six MLAs in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, had recently supported the NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. Shivpal Singh Yadav also supported the BJP-led NDA presidential candidate.

Both leaders had earlier this month attended a dinner hosted by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for Droupadi Murmu.

"Neither Samajwadi Party called me, nor asked for my vote. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath invited me yesterday where I met NDA's Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and decided to vote for her," Shivpal Yadav was quoted by news agency ANI as saying then.

Shivpal Yadav had slammed Akhilesh Yadav for not inviting him to party meetings and has alleged that it's because of his "immaturity" that several alliances of the party are now taking a separate route.

Shivpal Yadav, who heads the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia, is currently an MLA from Jaswant Nagar, the seat he won contesting on the symbol of the Samajwadi Party. He was known to be the second most powerful minister in Akhilesh Yadav's 2012-2017 government in UP. He had formed his own party after falling out with his nephew in 2018, but the two patched up ahead of the 2022 assembly polls.

OP Rajbhar has also publicly attacked Akhilesh Yadav several times. In May, he said that the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had grown accustomed to air conditioners and needed to step out and meet people more often.

Amid speculations of a rift after his jibes at Akhilesh Yadav, Mr Rajbhar had earlier this month said that he is "still with the party, but will not remain together forcefully if Akhilesh Yadav doesn't want it".

Mr Rajbhar had slammed Akhilesh Yadav after the party lost Lok Sabha by-polls in Uttar Pradesh to the ruling BJP.

"Can he point out one election he has won on his own?" asked Om Prakash Rajbhar. He said that Akhilesh Yadav had become Chief Minister in 2012 because of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav's "largesse".

In March, right after the Samajwadi Party's loss in the state election, there was speculation about Mr Rajbhar leaning towards former partner BJP again. It started amid reports of his meeting with the BJP's chief strategist Amit Shah.

Mr Rajbhar's SBSP has considerable influence among the Other Backward Classes in eastern Uttar Pradesh and he was part of the rainbow coalition stitched up by Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav ahead of the elections to supplement his party's Yadav-Muslim support base.