Before the Lok Sabha by-election, Shivpal Yadav expressed his displeasure on SP, took a sharp dig at Akhilesh Yadav

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Ahead of the Lok Sabha by-elections, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav has expressed displeasure with the Samajwadi Party. Bypolls to Rampur and Azamgarh were necessitated after sitting MPs Azam Khan and Akhilesh Yadav resigned after being elected to the Uttar Pradesh assembly in March. Though elections in these constituencies will be held on June 23, the results will be declared after three days. While Akhilesh Yadav’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav is contesting from Azamgarh, SP has given ticket to Asim Raja from Rampur.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Shivpal Yadav revealed that he was not actively campaigning for SP candidates as he had not received any such mandate from his nephew Akhilesh. He said, “I am not saying anything. I am silent. My party is not contesting elections. Hence, I am silent. No one has invited me. My eyes and ears are closed”. The BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Lodhi and actor Dinesh Lal Yadav as its candidates from Rampur and Azamgarh for the bypolls.

shivpal yadav face to face with nephew

The MLA of Jaswantnagar assembly constituency since 1996, Shivpal Yadav formed the PSP(L) on August 29, 2018 after quitting the SP. Putting aside initial hiccups, Akhilesh Yadav after meeting his uncle on December 16, 2021 announced an alliance between the SP and the PSP(L) for the UP assembly elections. Shivpal Yadav retained his seat while contesting on SP ticket, but the party could have won. Only 111 seats, compared to the BJP, which won 255 seats in the 403-member Assembly for its second consecutive victory.

The unease was revealed after the election results when Shivpal Yadav complained that he was not invited to the MLAs’ meeting in which his nephew was elected as the leader of the legislature party. Thereafter, he skipped the alliance leaders’ meeting called by Akhilesh Yadav and met Adityanath. This fueled rumors about the possibility of the PSP(L) chief joining the BJP and contesting from the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat or the Rajya Sabha seat.

In another sign of infighting within the SP, Shivpal Yadav met 10-time MLA Azam Khan in Sitapur jail on April 22 and echoed the sentiment that the party had not supported him enough. He said, “Azam Khan is a senior member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and one of the founding members of Samajwadi Party, but SP is not helping him. He was also a member of Rajya Sabha. It is very unfortunate that there is Samajwadi Party. Azam Not fighting like Khan”. On May 22, Azam Khan who had recently got bail and Shivpal Yadav did not attend the meeting of opposition MLAs headed by the SP chief.

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