Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) leader Shivpal Yadav is struggling to remain politically relevant in the state. Shivpal Yadav now faces the threat of being disqualified from the membership of UP Assembly. The SP has petitioned the Assembly Speaker, seeking his disqualification under anti-defection law. In March 2017 elections, Shivpal was elected to UP Assembly from Jaswant Nagar seat in Etawah district on Samajwadi Party ticket.
SP president and Shivpal’s nephew Akhilesh Yadav has on several occasions dubbed the PSPL a ‘B’ team of BJP floated to cut into the SP vote bank in the last Lok Sabha elections.
“Even if the assertion of Akhilesh Yadav is taken on face value, Shivpal Yadav is now of little use for the BJP as the ruling party has decimated both the SP and BSP,” a PSPL leader said.
Following the Samajwadi Party’s defeat in May 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it was expected that the Yadav family feud would be settled and Akhilesh Yadav would finally come to terms with his uncle Shivpal. However, instead of making any effort for reconciliation, Akhilesh hit out at his uncle and filed the petition for his disqualification from the UP Assembly membership.
“Akhilesh Yadav was waiting for an appropriate moment to settle scores with his uncle and time has come to marginalise Shivpal in UP politics,’’ a senior SP leader said.
Shivpal had left the SP during the Lok Sabha elections, but the party did not take any initiative to end his Assembly membership at that time. It was then believed that there could be reconciliation between him and Akhilesh in future. However, it was not to be.
Political analysts admit that Shivpal had tried to show his strength by contesting the Lok Sabha elections with PSPL, but did not succeed. “There is no use in allowing Shivpal to remain an MLA. Weakening him will ultimately finish his party and their leaders will come to SP which will benefit the party in by-elections,” a Samajwadi Party leader said.
Shivpal was looking at his political career in the Congress party after parting ways with the SP. There were a lot of talks that he was planning to join hands with the Congress. But after the Congress suffered a crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, he was left all by himself. After the elections, the BJP also stopped giving Shivpal any importance.
“Both Akhilesh and Mulayam have understood that Shivpal will not be joining either Congress or BJP. In such a situation, the SP can become stronger only by weakening the PSPL,” a Samajwadi Party leader said, adding: “Shivpal Singh Yadav wanted to join the SP after the Lok Sabha elections, but Akhilesh was not willing to include him in the party at any cost.”