Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav on Thursday made it clear that there was “no chance” his party will merge with the Samajwadi Party. He, however, said his party may consider an alliance with Samajwadi Party or other like-minded parties if offered "respectable" number of seats for the upcoming elections.
"There is no chance of merger of my party with the SP or going back to it. I am open for an alliance with like-minded parties to keep the communal BJP at bay and that too if my party is offered a respectable number of seats," Mr Yadav was quoted by news agency PTI. Shivpal Yadav formed his own party on August 29, 2018 after he fell out with Akhilesh Yadav.
Mr Yadav comments came days after senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan had claimed that Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav will unite again once the conditions turn "favourable.
Shivpal Yadav, 63, has claimed that his party will play a pivotal role in the formation of the government at the Centre after the 2019 national elections, due in some time. "Next government at the Centre cannot not be formed without support of our party. Our party has become a force to reckon with in past three months after its constitution. Our organisation in all the 75 districts is ready and people are acknowledging us as a force," Mr Shivpal said.
He also commented on the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party for the Lok Sabha polls. "Are they (SP and BSP) of the same ideology? Can it (BSP) be trusted. There is no trust when it will join or leave the alliance (with SP)," he said.
About the possibility of allying with the Congress, he said, "He has not talked to anyone so far. But we have to keep in mind which national party can stop the BJP and constitute government at the Centre."
"If the opposition, including the SP, BSP and Congress want to stop the BJP and offer me respectable seats, my party will certainly join the alliance," he said.
Shivpal Yadav also said that he has has blessings of his elder brother and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and has asked him to contest the Lok Sabha polls on his party ticket.
"If he does not accept our offer, our party will support him from wherever he contests. I always respect him and he will be given due honour. I have been with him since the beginning and learnt politics from him," Shivpal said.
With additional inputs from PTI