After snubbing his nephew Akhilesh on Monday by changing the list of candidates for some crucial seats, Shivpal took another big step on Thursday by formally announcing the merger with QED again.
After replacing as many as 14 candidates announced earlier and declaring a list of seven new candidates for the polls without keeping the CM in the loop. Shivpal Yadav gave a major blow to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav by announcing the merger of Mukhtar Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal with the ruling party.
The official announcement for the merger was made by Shivpal at a press conference in Lucknow today, months after it was called off due to opposition from Akhilesh Yadav.
Shivpal told the media – “The decision to merge with the QED had been taken after consultations with top Samajwadi Party leaders. We hope they will help SP in many ways and will benefit the party.”
Shivpal also told the media that the merger had taken place after long discussions with Mulayam Singh yadav and Akhilesh but none of the close aides of CM had confirmed about putting Akhilesh in loop.
Shivpal had already played a key role in bringing QED and SP together in June, but he was shunted by his nephew and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for this move. Akhilesh had also showed his displeasure in the party’s parliamentary board meeting and after his disapproval, the party’s Parliamentary Board decided to reject the proposed merger.
The relationship between the nephew and the uncle had nosedived after the series of events and an all-out war ensued last month within Akhilesh and Shivpal where the young CM took away Shivpal’s ministerial portfolios after he was replaced by the latter as UP SP chief.
Shivpal resigned from the party and the government later on and after much infighting within the party, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav somehow pacified the rift. But immediately after that, Shivpal, as UP party chief, sacked several young leaders who sided with Akhilesh in the infighting.
Although the insiders in SP who are close to Akhilesh told us on conditions of anonymity –“His ambitions of becoming CM were open during elections of 2012, but our young boss had eventually surpassed him to the chair due to his clean image. Now this step of merger is again something which does not suit the image of our CM.”
This merger comes as the third biggest jolt to Akhilesh’s clean image as he had already re- inducted tainted minister Gayatri Prajapati into the cabinet and Shivpal had already announced ticket to Amar Mani’s son Aman Mani Tripathi.
Akhilesh had taken a similar tough stand on the inclusion of mafia-turned-politician DP Yadav before the 2012 elections and that had helped him a lot in maintaining a clean image in the state. But the bruising fights for influence between Shivpal and his nephew Akhilesh in recent days had surely created a sense of confusion among the party supporters.
Although the SP hopes that the merger will help it tapping the Muslim vote bank in eastern Uttar Pradesh especially in Ghazipur, Mau and Varanasi and partially Jaunpur and Azamgarh ahead of next year’s assembly elections.
QED was established by Ansari Brothers in 2010 and Afzal Ansari was made the National president of the same. Mukhtar and elder brother Shivgatullah Ansari were elected as MLA from Mau and Mohammadabad from the same party in 2012.
Senior journalist Dr Yogesh Mishra told us –“Mulayam Singh Yadav is serious about counting his chickens before they hatch and he believes in electoral politics, so this merger had officially taken place. The young CM is concerned about moral politics and in states like UP, the either way out is the easier way.”
Political observers in Lucknow believe that the rift within the party may expand more as Shivpal is expected to take some more tainted leaders in the party. Shivpal had also announced the new working committee for the state today and the list comprises of names like Haidar Ali Tiger, Ambika Chowdhary, Naad Rai and Om Prakash Singh and few more. Out of the 60 names in the new committee, most of them are close to Shivpal and they do not like the working style of Akhilesh.