AGRA: After his “reunion” with nephew Akhilesh Yadav ahead of the Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav on Wednesday asked people and supporters to call the Samajwadi Party chief “Chhote Netaji” as they used to call patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav “Netaji.” He was speaking at a public meeting at Jaswantnagar in Etawah district, which is an assembly constituency under Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat.
“I have accepted him (Akhilesh) as my leader, and I want people not only from here, but in the entire state and the whole country to refer to him as Chhote Netaji. Now, Akhilesh and I stand together and united and there should be no confusion about it,” Shivpal said.
Two weeks ago, in a show of unity, Akhilesh and his wife Dimple Yadav, the SP candidate now in Mainpuri, had touched the feet of uncle Shivpal as they arrived on the dais for campaigning. Shivpal then went on to ask for support for Dimple, and exhorted partymen to help “our bahu (daughter-in-law)” win.
Shivpal’s statement is being seen as a major development in SP and state politics as the uncle and nephew have been at loggerheads for long now, driving a wedge between their supporters and some senior leaders. Their relationship turned sour ahead of the 2017 assembly election in UP, when Akhilesh took over as the party president and Shivpal formed his own party (PSPL) in 2018.
Shivpal and Akhilesh ironed out their differences after the demise of Mulayam Singh last month and both leaders have been working together to ensure the victory of Dimple in Mainpuri, the seat that was earlier held by Mulayam. Polling in Mainpuri will take place on December 5 and the votes will be counted on December 8, coinciding with the result dates of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.





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