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UP Polls: Akhilesh Yadav Meets Estranged Uncle Shivpal, Announces Formation of Alliance

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday announced that an electoral alliance has been sealed with his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia).

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New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday announced that an electoral alliance has been sealed with his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) (PSPL).

The fomer Uttar Pradesh chief minister visited his uncle’s residence in Lucknow in the afternoon and had closed door talks with him for about 40 minutes. He anounced later on Twitter that an alliance had been sealed, adding that his party would continue its efforts to unite regional parties to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next year’s assembly elections in the state.

During the meeting, hundreds of supporters of both parties gathered outside Shivpal’s residence and raised the slogan “chacha-bhatija zindabad“.

SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav was also present at Shivpal’s residence before Akhilesh reached there, according to news agency PTI.

The two parties had indicated that an alliance was on the cards. While Akhilesh had said that he would give due honour to his uncle and his partymen, Shivpal has in the past said he is prepared to merge his party with the SP.

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The relationship between uncle and nephew had gone sour in 2016, with the sacking of Shivpal by Akhilesh when he was the chief minister.

Akhilesh became the SP national president in January 2017, in a coup against his father and SP founder Mulayam. Later, Shivpal formed the PSPL.

The SP, which came a distant second in the 2017 assembly polls, has sealed a bouqet of alliances with regional parties and is seen as the most credible challenger to the BJP’s dominance in Uttar Pradesh. Most recently, it tied up with the Rashtriya Lok Dal. Previously, it inked a pact with Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party, which is led by Om Prakash Rajbhar – a former minister in the Yogi Adityanath government.

Reacting to the meet, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said the meeting will not impact the BJP’s prospects in the polls.