Shivpal hits campaign trail, to contest LS polls

Shivpal hits campaign trail, to contest LS polls

Says will field candidates in all 80 UP constituencies

Shivpal Singh Yadav. Twitter

Days after forming a 'secular front', Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Akhilesh Yadav's sulking uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav on Friday hit the campaign trail.

He announced that he would contest the Lok Sabha elections, for the first time in his political career, in 2019.

in what would be music to the BJP's ears, he also declared that his 'secular front' would be putting up candidates in all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

''I have decided to contest the next LS polls... The Front will put up its nominees on all 80 LS seats in the state,'' Shivpal said in an informal chat with reporters in Baghpat, about 450 kilometre from here.

When queried if he would contest against his own elder brother and SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav's party, he curtly replied that it was up to Mulayam to decide if he would field an SP candidate against him.

Shivpal, who held discussions with his supporters to chalk out his electoral strategy, also later addressed a public meeting at Budhana in Muzaffarnagar district.

According to sources close to Shivpal, the sulking SP leader planned to tour the state in the next few months in the run up to the next general elections.

Shivpal had on Wednesday announced the formation of a 'Samajwadi Secular Morcha' and said that he would also try to bring in smaller outfits.

Shivpal, who had been having estranged relations with Akhilesh since the latter sacked him from the post of party general secretary and as a minister in 2016, had dropped hints that he could ''charter a different course'' if his ''isolation'' in the party continued.

According to the sources in the SP here, some senior party leaders have launched fresh reconciliation efforts between Shivpal and Akhilesh fearing that the family feud could adversely impact the party's electoral prospects in 2019.

BJP feels that Shivpal could prove to be a ''spoiler'' for the grand alliance if he formed his own outfit and put up its candidates in Uttar Pradesh in the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

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