Akhilesh Yadav-Shivpal Singh rapprochement on cards 

Uttar Pradesh: Akhilesh Yadav-Shivpal Singh Yadav rapprochement on cards 

SP leader Akhilesh Yadav seeks blessings from Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav during an event to celebrate Holi festival, in Etawah, on March 10, 2020. PTI

Apparently forced by the political situation in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav hinted at a possible rapprochement to take on the BJP in the state, where Assembly polls were due in two years' time.

That the two were ready to join hands once again was evident, when the SP moved an application before the UP Assembly speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit seeking to withdraw the disqualification petition it had filed against Shivpal under the Anti-Defection Law.

The two leaders, who had been attacking each other since Shivpal's ouster from the SP, had met recently during a family get-together on the occasion of Holi at their native village of Saifai in Etawah district.

Akhilesh was seen touching Shivpal's feet during the festivity. It was their first meeting since parting ways around four years back.

According to sources in the SP, party patron and Akhilesh's father Mulayam Singh Yadav had been trying to persuade the two leaders to shun their differences and join hands to counter the BJP in the state.

"Now that Akhilesh has made it clear that the SP will not have an alliance with any party in the next Assembly polls, Shivpal will not have any problem in returning to his old party," said a senior SP leader.

Incidentally, Shivpal had criticised Akhilesh for allying with the BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh. The SP-BSP alliance, however, failed to click and after the LS polls, both parted ways.

The leader also said that the saffron party could be 'defeated' in the state if both of them joined hands.

Shivpal, who had formed Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) after being expelled from the SP, could not win even a single seat in the state in the Lok Sabha polls and all his nominees had lost their security deposits.

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