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SP, Cong shunned my alliance offer: Shivpal Yadav

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 20, 2019  | 17:53 IST

By Abhishek Shukla Firozabad, Apr 20 (PTI) If the BJP benefits from the Pragatishil Samajwadi Party (Lohia) contesting the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party are to be responsible as they shunned his offer of an alliance, the party's chief and Akhilesh Yadav's estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav said.    Irrespective of the bonhomie between BSP supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav in their Mainpuri rally Friday, Yadav dismissed this 'gathbandhan' (grouping) as a 'bemel' (incompatible) combination which is not likely to make much impact on the ground.  "Who will guarantee that Mayawati won't switch sides after the results and go with the BJP if needed," he asked.  In 2018, Shivpal had parted ways from the Samajwadi Party, founded by his elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav, after 26 years of association, falling out with its president Akhilesh and cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, SP MP in Rajya Sabha. He launched Pragatishil Samajwadi Party (Lohia) and has given tickets to 60 candidates in Uttar Pradesh and 51 in other states. The process of giving tickets is still on. "I tried to stitch an alliance with the SP and the Congress. But none of them accommodated me in their scheme of things. Had the SP gone with me, we would have contested all 80 seats. Now they are contesting in less than half. Who will be responsible if the BJP benefits," he told PTI in an interview. In Firozabad, Shivpal is in contest with Ram Gopal Yadav's son Akshay, who is trying to save his seat that has traditionally been a SP stronghold. Akshay Yadav is the SP-BSP alliance's joint candidate. Presence of his uncle Shivpal, who is known as a ground level organisation man, may make a dent in his core votes giving an edge to the BJP which has fielded an ayurvedic doctor Chandra Sen Jadaun, analysts said.   Sitting in his makeshift office-cum-residence in Sirsaganj here, Shivpal said he also approached the Congress and sought only two seats - Etawah and Firozabad - and had offered to give tickets on seats where the grand old party cannot get candidates. There were hectic meetings with top Congress leaders including general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, West UP in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and others. They all agreed that it will be beneficial for the Congress to have this alliance, he claimed. "It did not materialise because Ram Gopal Yadav threatened the Congress that in case it enters into an alliance with my party, the SP will give tickets to candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli," he further claimed. These two unsuccessful attempts in stitching an alliance may play on his mind in case he emerges as kingmaker after the results are declared on May 23. "We are secular people. We will prefer secular people but only if we are given proper respect and honour. If not, then central parliamentary panel will take a call. We also want to defeat the BJP, that's why we spoke to the SP and the Congress for an alliance in UP but if we are given such treatment who will be responsible," he said. Shivpal, who is meeting people in at least 20-25 villages in his constituency, said he had never expected that he would see a day when he had to leave the party which he had nurtured with his sweat and blood under the leadership of his elder brother. He accused SP Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav of creating discord in the family by "constantly bad mouthing" about him before Mulayam Singh Yadav fondly called as "Netaji". Irrespective of parting ways with the Samajwadi Party, Shivpal keeps his elder brother in high esteem and is seeking votes for him in Mainpuri seat. In the family village, Saifai, he called a meeting of about 3,000 core workers of the party asking them to ensure votes for the patriarch, who is contesting from Mainpuri. Shivpal has not fielded any candidate so far from the seats Mulayam, Akhilesh and daughter in law Dimple Yadav are contesting. Shivpal claimed he was advised by Amar Singh to join the BJP, while he was still in the SP and he even had a phone conversation with BJP president Amit Shah but he had said no. "It was during the time of Rajya Sabha elections in 2018. Amar Singh had suggested me to speak to Shah on joining of BJP. We even had a phone conversation but then I said no. Akhilesh had called me and sought my support for his candidate. I gave full support," he said. But things were not that smooth between Akhilesh and Shivpal during the elections of the President in 2017. "Neither Akhilesh nor the Congress sought my support for their candidate. I was not consulted. I was not invited in the parties before elections. I was not called in the meetings whereas Ram Nath Kovind and Yogi Adityanath both sought my support so I extended it and had voted for Kovind," he said. PTI ABS ZMN

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