Putting to rest speculation doing the rounds for the last almost two years, disgruntled Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and party president Akhilesh Yadav's uncle, Shivpal Singh Yadav on Wednesday announced the formation of a political front Samajwadi Secular Morcha (SSM).
He said the Morcha would galvanise all leaders, who had been neglected and disregarded in the party. After meeting SP founder and patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday morning, Shivpal announced that the Morcha had already come into being and was working at the district levels.
The development has come as a rude shock to SP, which has been tirelessly trying to sew an alliance with arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to corner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the coming 2019 Lok Sabha poll. The development weakens the bargaining power of SP vis-à-vis BSP, which has been maintaining stoic silence over the proposed alliance and instead favouring Congress for a nationwide pre-poll pact.
Talking to news persons here, the ex-UP minister and former UP president of the party, Shivpal, who was one of the most powerful SP leaders once, said the Morcha would also comprise smaller political outfits to become a potent force before the next election.
Over the past few days, SP had been weathering onslaught by senior party leaders. A few days back, party's spokesperson Pankhudi Pathak had took to the social media to quit SP after leveling charges of favouratism and sexism in the socialist outfit under the present leadership of Akhilesh.
Yesterday, party's Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh had mounted a caustic attack on SP legislator and former UP minister Mohd Azam Khan for allegedly threatening to harm his minor daughters even as he claimed the party leadership had failed to uphold the dignity of women.
Shivpal, who had been sulking for quite some time, was expected to part ways for his own political journey after he was sacked from all party posts two years back. Last year also, the speculation was rife that he along with his elder brother Mulayam could form another political front, but each time, the developments came to a naught even as the duo too denied any such move.
"We will decide our next course of action after discussions with party workers,” Shivpal said. He has also exhorted all such SP leaders, who were not being accorded respect to join him. He observed that the party had weakened due to the fact that senior leaders were being neglected.
Recently, Mulayam had claimed he was not getting respect and surmised that he might get his due after death.
Meanwhile, SP has been caught off guard with the sudden announcement by Shivpal. Most party spokespersons were seen skirting the issue saying the leadership would respond on the matter, since it concerned the party’s first family.