They agreed to bury their differences and to re-unite the family ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which the SP plans to contest as part of a “broader alliance” at the national level.
“The state is facing a lot of challenges. Farmers and youths are a disgruntled lot. Corruption is rising, but there is no one to hear,” Shivpal Yadav said.
Most of the 55 members in the new national executive, formed after Akhilesh’s re-election earlier this month as party chief, are those who supported him during the feud in Samajwadi Party family.
Mulayam had earlier asked the public to support the party.
The relationship between Akhilesh and Shivpal purportedly hit rock bottom when Shivpal’s attempts at merging the Quami Ekta Dal (QED) with the party were scuttled. Mulayam, had even addressed party workers saying the SP would split if Shivpal left.
According to sources, Mulayam had sent Shivpal the text of the speech he was to give on Monday. In it he had written of having been “insulted” when he was not invited to the state party convention last week.
“Netaji (Mulayam), who is also founder member of the Lokdal, and Shivpal will be with us and work for formation of a secular front. They will hold a joint press conference with us on Monday,” the Lokdal National President told reporters on Friday.
In the state assembly to vote, Shivpal, said “his vote will also go to Kovind as ‘Neta ji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav) had ordered so. There were more than a dozen legislators of the party who were toeing the line of former party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav”.
Ever since the Samajwadi Party lost the assembly elections, Shivpal has been demanding that Akhilesh should step down and hand over the party’s reins to Mulayam.
The senior SP leader had on Wednesday said he will float a new secular party if his nephew and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav did not handover the party reins to Mulayam Singh Yadav.
A sitting MLA denied ticket, a rebel SP leader campaigning on Lok Dal ticket and a splinter SP organisation are signs that the feud within the family of Mulayam Singh Yadav is nowhere near over.
Akhilesh said he will not spare those who create differences between him and his father.
Shivpal Yadav, former state president, has been allocated a ticket from Jaswantnagar constituency.
Apart from being seen talking to his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav and CM Akhilesh, party’s state president Shivpal Yadav was also seen touching Ram Gopal’s feet despite his known differences with him.
The rift between Akhilesh and Shivpal became apparent when the former opposed the merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal with the SP- a move initiated by Shivpal.