SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav, Estranged Uncle Shivpal Show Signs of Truce Ahead of 2022 State Assembly Polls

Lucknow: Ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Yadav clan is showing signs of coming together as both Akhilesh Yadav and his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav have been indicating at a possible truce. Shivpal had formed his own political outfit after differences grew between him and his nephew.

Answering a question on the possibility of Shivpal Yadav's return to Samajwadi Party fold on Friday, SP chief Akhilesh said, “Doors are always open for everyone, we will take everyone back without a second thought. There is democracy in our family all the members are free to follow the ideology they want to. Unless we grow our family how will we contest elections?”

The reaction from Akhilesh came after a statement from Shivpal that hinted at the possibility of a truce. Speaking to media in Mainpur on Friday on any chances left for return in the Yadav clan, Shivpal Yadav said, “From my side there are chances of return.” The speculation of Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh coming together has been rife since the bad performance of Samajwadi Party in the recently concluded 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.

SP president Akhilesh has led the party to its worst defeats — in 2014 when he was chief minister, the SP ended up with just five Lok Sabha seats, in 2017 when he became party president it was reduced to 47 seats in the 403-member assembly and in 2019, despite allying with BSP, it could just hold on to its five seats.

Soon after the Lok Sabha results came in, Akhilesh had been turning to his father for advice and guidance — something he did not do in the past. The senior Yadav, to begin with, has asked Akhilesh to reconnect with non-Yadav leaders in the party and demolish the perception that SP is an all-Yadav party.

Mulayam Singh Yadav also wanted senior leaders in the party to be involved in decision making and had asked Akhilesh Yadav to ensure the return of those leaders who have left the party in the past two years. If informed sources are to be believed, Mulayam Singh Yadav has asked his son to build bridges with his estranged uncle Shivpal Yadav.

Shivpal Yadav, who floated his own Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia (PSPL) last year after a prolonged feud with Akhilesh Yadav, failed to make his presence felt in the Lok Sabha elections.

Shivpal Yadav lost his own seat in Ferozabad and none of his candidates could even rank second in the polls. According to the sources, Shivpal Yadav has softened his stand towards Akhilesh Yadav but wants "issues and hearts to be clear" before he agrees to return to SP.

“These elections have a message for Akhilesh as well as Shivpal. They should realize that united they will stand and divided they will fall. Mulayam wants his son and brother to reunite so that the party remains relevant,” said a senior SP leader known for his proximity to Mulayam Singh Yadav.