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Mulayam to campaign for brother Shivpal first

Lucknow, Feb 3: Former Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and now its mentor Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday announced he will campaign for his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav first. After that, he would go to seek votes for the candidates med by his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister told mediapersons that on February 9, he would go to Jaswantgar in Etawah and seek people’s support for Shivpal, who has been sidelined by his nephew Akhilesh. In a series of flip-flops ever since he was overthrown by Akhilesh, Mulayam has been making contradictory noises. First, he said he asked his supporters to contest against Congress candidates in the 105 seats given to them according to the alliance conditions and had even threatened not to campaign for the Samajwadi Party and Congress candidates.

He, however, retreated and told reporters in Delhi on Wednesday that Akhilesh was his son and that he had very little option but to canvass. Shivpal, after filing his nomition in Jaswantgar earlier this week, had announced he would form a new party after March 11 when election results are declared. He has also been taking potshots at Akhilesh saying he got everything due to luck and legacy whereas people like him who slogged all through for the Samajwadi Party were given a raw deal. Opposition parties including the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) have been alleging that the family feud in the Yadav clan is a staged attempt to deflect people’s mind from lawlessness and corruption in the state. Uttar Pradesh BJP general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said “Mulayam’s flip-flop is not only scripted but also a clever attempt to save his son from being made responsible for an imminent loss in the state polls”. BSP chief Mayawati has also castigated arch-rivals Mulayam and Akhilesh for being engaged in a “family drama” even as the people of Uttar Pradesh were suffering. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita