When Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav recently shared the stage with son and party chief Akhikesh, it was seen as the patriarch finally making his stand clear in the political slugfest between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav. He even offered his blessings to Akhilesh for victory in upcoming elections. On Friday, however, Mulayam threw the party cadre into a spin when he shared the dais with brother Shivpal, who recently formed the Samajwadi Secular Morcha. The occasion was a programme organised by Ram Manohar Lohia Trust office in Lucknow on the death anniversary of the socialist leader. Mulayam is chairman and Shivpal secretary of the Trust. Shivpal did not miss the opportunity and claimed that he had Mulayam’s “blessings” and had formed the Morcha with Netaji’s consent.
Cheers To Football
The FIFA World Cup may have ended in Russia but India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, was in for a pleasant surprise recently. In a friendly gesture, the Russian envoy to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, gifted Akbaruddin a personalised World Cup jersey and a football. With “Syed” written on the back, like in the team shirts at the summer’s tournament, the top Indian diplomat sported the blue jersey and expressed his gratitude for the gift.
The deepening divide between the BJP and the Opposition seems to be reflecting in other sectors as well. During his recent visit, Canada’s Opposition Conservative leader Andrew Scheer met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Cabinet ministers. While he was interacting with a few representatives of India Inc and business lobby group leaders, one of them asked Scheer whether he would meet Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. Scheer said that no such meeting was scheduled. The industry representative then suggested that it would be good if he meets the opposition party’s leader as well, pointing out that it has been a custom. However, those present in the meeting say, Scheer did not appear interested. Before arriving, Scheer had said his India visit was meant to repair bilateral ties after his Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “disastrous” state visit that “damaged” relations.