Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav on Monday said that his party's priority is to form an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and that it should be allotted 100 seats.
Referring to reports about a possible reunion between Shivpal Yadav and his estranged nephew and SP president Akhilesh Yadav on party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's 82nd birthday on Monday, the PSPL chief said that the people of Uttar Pradesh had hopes from today but the result was "shunya" (zero).
Addressing a gathering at a 'dangal' (wrestling match) organised here on the occasion of his elder brother's birthday, Shivpal Yadav said that in case the SP does not make a decision on the alliance within a week, the PSPL will hold a meeting in Lucknow to decide the future course of action.
There was a falling out between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav in 2017.
Allegedly upset over his diminishing stature in the SP, Shivpal Yadav broke away and floated the PSPL in 2018. The souring of their relationship was exacerbated with Akhilesh Yadav taking over the reins of the SP in 2017.
"In 2022, we have to come to power. The entire state wants both parties (PSPL and SP) to contest the elections together. The people of the state had hopes from this day (Mulayam Singh's birthday) but the result was 'shunya' (zero). Now again fake news will be run," Shivpal Yadav said.
Earlier this month, Akhilesh Yadav had said that he would be working to join hands with Shivpal Yadav on Mulayam Singh's birthday. He had also said that he would give all respect to his uncle and the SP would enter into an alliance with the PSLP for the assembly elections.
However, neither Akhilesh Yadav nor Mulayam Singh said anything to this effect during the birthday celebrations of the SP patriarch at the party headquarters in Lucknow on Monday.
"We want unity as it has power. Our priority is to form an alliance with the SP. There is little time (left for the elections). Whatever decision has to be taken should be taken soon. I am saying for the past two years that elections should be contested unitedly," Shivpal Yadav said.
"I have accepted all conditions. He (Akhilesh) should become the chief minister," he said.
PSLP leaders who are in a position to win should be given tickets. The SP chief can get a survey done and decide, he added.
"Give me 100 seats and we will contest (elections) together," the PSPL leader said.
"If a decision is not made (soon by the SP), the PSPL will organise a big conference in Lucknow after a week and take suggestions (from partymen) and a decision will be taken by the party's parliamentary board," he said.
The elections for the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly will be held early next year.
Shivpal Yadav also claimed that had he wanted, he could have become the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2003 but he let go of the position for Mulayam Singh despite the fact that "our own party and other leaders wanted to see me as chief minister".
To celebrate Mulayam Singh's birthday, Shivpal Yadav cut a large cake with his son Aditya Yadav and party workers at a stadium here and offered it to his brother's photograph.
In a tweet in Hindi, Shivpal Yadav described Mulayam Singh as a source of inspiration and the "flag-bearer of social justice" and wished him a long and healthy life.