Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Singh Yadav hit out at the BJP Sunday, saying the saffron party had “weakened” the country and it wanted to “instigate riots” for political gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing the ‘Jan Aakrosh Rally’ here, the first such event by the PSPL after its formation this October, Shivpal Yadav said, “The BJP has weakened the country. We will oust the BJP from power at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh… We want peace and brotherhood, the communal people want to instigate riots.”
Adding an element of surprise to the Sunday gathering was the presence of SP patriarch and Shivpal Yadav’s elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav, who attended the rally barely two days after sharing the stage with his son and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Firozabad.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, while addressing the gathering, started speaking about the SP rather than the PSPL, causing embarrassment to Shivpal Yadav.
“The SP carries everyone along with it, treats all human beings as equal irrespective of their caste and religion, so make the SP stronger,” he said, leaving Shivpal Yadav nonplussed.
Mulayam Singh Yadav stopped referring to the SP only after the PSPL chief nudged him.
The SP founder’s younger daughter-in-law, Aparna Yadav, also took everyone by surprise by attending the rally.
Continuing with his attack on the ruling party, Shivpal Yadav said, “The then BJP government (in UP) had submitted an affidavit assuring security (of the Babri mosque). But, despite the affidavit, the Babri mosque was demolished. They want to spread the same fire in the country.”
“In the Dharam Sabha, which was held in Ayodhya on November 25, there were efforts to vitiate the atmosphere, and the workers of PSPL came out on the streets so that no riots take place in Ayodhya,” the PSPL chief said.
“The need is to remove the current government, which is dishonest, useless and false. I and ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav) are with the Muslims,” he said.
Shivpal Yadav said there should not be any temple on the disputed land and added that the Supreme Court order on the matter should not be defied.
“If the temple is to be built, then a piece of land can be searched on the banks of the Saryu river. There is no dearth of land for the government,” he said.
Shivpal Yadav alleged that there is corruption across varied sectors and departments in Uttar Pradesh.
“(Narendra) Modi ji might go on telling about his 56-inch chest, but there isn’t any strength in it to combat corruption. Tall promises of the chowkidar of eradicating corruption have been just like a disaster in UP,” he alleged.
Shivpal, whose speech was punctuated with slogans from the crowd applauding him, assured the gathering that his party will make all efforts to provide jobs to the youth.
On the day Shivpal Yadav floated his new outfit, Mulayam Singh Yadav had visited the PSPL office here and hours later dropped in at the SP headquarters for a chat with son Akhilesh, leaving his party workers guessing where his sympathies lay.
Shivpal Yadav had offered his elder brother the mantle of his new outfit, but Mulayam Singh Yadav remained non-committal.
“I have offered the party president’s post to ‘Netaji’ (Mulayam) and a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha election from Mainpuri seat. Our party will carry forward the ideologies of Lohia,” Shivpal Yadav had then said.
At the PSPL office, Mulayam was also offered the new party’s flag by Shivpal Yadav and both of them posed before shutterbugs.
The Yogi Adityanath government recently allotted a sprawling bungalow at Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, vacated by BSP supremo Mayawati on Supreme Court orders, to Shivpal Yadav.
The SP workers’ confusion began when Prateek Yadav’s wife participated in a function organised by Shivpal Yadav and expressed her support for him. She was reported as promising to work towards strengthening the PSPL.
Aparna Yadav, who shared the stage with Shivpal Yadav, had said, “I have always respected chachaji and Netaji (Mulayam).”
Earlier too, Mulayam Singh Yadav had made an appearance at a function alongside Shivpal Yadav after he launched his new outfit.
In August, Shivpal Yadav had launched ‘Samajwadi Secular Morcha’ after expressing his disappointment with the Samajwadi Party leadership and a month later, he floated his new party.