Senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was sidelined in the party and the government by nephew Akhilesh Yadav, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday, fuelling speculation.
The meeting, which lasted 30 minutes, is being termed in political corridors as "something more than a mere courtesy call".
Shivpal was accompanied by his son Aditya Yadav. After the meeting, he said, “We exchanged pleasantries... I greeted the Chief Minister. In a democracy, we meet leaders of all political parties, nothing unusual in that.”
According to sources, Shivpal was mulling option beyond the Samajwadi Party, whose president he was until he was dislodged by his nephew before the state elections.
On 15 March and on 31 March, Mulayam's younger son Prateek and his wife Aparna Yadav had met Adityanath.
Political observers are speculating that there could be a major breach in the Yadav family with some people crossing over to the saffron camp.
Even after the rout in the 2017 state assembly elections, there has been no thaw in the relations between Mulayam Singh-Shivpal and Akhilesh factions.
In fact, both Mulayam and Shivpal attacked Akhilesh recently and blamed his arrogance for the poll debacle. Aparna, too, had said it was not the fault of the EVMs, but "our own" that ensured her defeat from the Lucknow Cantonment seat.
(With inputs from IANS and Hindustan Times)
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