In a visible softening of stand, Shivpal Yadav, who heads the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP), has said that he is ready to forge an alliance with Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, which is slated to be held in 2022.
Shivpal Yadav, who is a younger brother of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh and uncle of former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, indicated that his party could form an alliance with the SP for the Assembly polls, but also underlined that he would not rejoin the Samajwadi Party.
Talking to reporters, he said, "When elections around, there will be talks of an alliance but we will not go back to Samajwadi Party. We will talk to those who want to ally with us. The PSP will also be there. We can ally with Samajwadi Party as well."
Shivpal Yadav's statement comes after Samajwadi patriarch Mulayam Singh had made efforts to bring the estranged uncle and nephew together after the SP suffered a rout in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Three members of the Yadav clan-Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav-lost the elections and the party's tally in Lok Sabha was reduced to five.
Thereafter, the Bahujan Samaj Party also snapped its alliance with the SP and announced that it would contest all elections on its own. The BSP even blamed the SP for its "anti-Dalit" policies.
Akhilesh Yadav, on his part, has shown no inclination to build bridges with his uncle.
Senior leaders in the SP feel that if the two leaders joined hands, the SP would gain some strength and revive itself to an extent.