Officially announcing his decision to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Firozabad constituency, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) president Shivpal Yadav on Sunday said he will not see anyone as “chacha or bhatija now (uncle or nephew)”, but just as opponents.
Firozabad seat is currently held by Akshay Yadav, son of SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav. Speaking at a function in his constituency earlier in the day, Akshay had said that nothing has changed with Shivpal contesting, and that he has come as a “BJP person” to “spread garbage” in the cleanliness that he (Akshay) has established.
At his ‘Hain Taiyyar Hum’ rally in Firozabad, Shivpal said that those who had only reaped benefits of the SP had removed him and are now accusing him of being BJP’s “B-party”.
“Now that I have declared that I will contest, there is no chacha or bhatija. We are just opponents. Now I do not have to consider brother, or nephew or family but farmers and sikshamitras. I only have to see how the country and state can progress,” he added. He added that he wants to remove the BJP government from power and is ready for a coalition with “like-minded secular parties”.
Speaking about his brother and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, he said that even if Mulayam does not accept his invitation to contest on his party symbol, he would support the SP founder wherever he contests the election and “make him win”.
“I think of the position the Samajwadi Party was at. The height it was at. Think about this. Why did it reach 47 MLAs from 236…We have always respected Netaji and will keep doing so. We will always be together…I never thought our family would break like this despite Netaji being there. You would remember that in Lucknow I pledged I would not be chief minister till Akhilesh is there…I even said that if Netaji is respected, elders are respected, do not give me any ticket and I would still make our contestants win. But there is a limit to how much disrespect one can tolerate,” he added.
The party also announced the candidature of activist Sanjay Saxena from Rampur and poetess Anamika Amber from Meerut. Both of them are contesting for the first time.