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Samajwadi Party includes Mulayam Singh as star campaigners after facing backlash

After facing criticism for not including the Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s name in the list of star campaigners , the party tried to do a damage control by listing him as a top campaigner later in the evening for the first and second phase of polling in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The list of 40 star campaigners for phase 1 that was released by SP senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ramgopal Yadav on Sunday morning, included many members of the Yadav family including party chief Akhilesh Yadav, his wife Dimple and brother Tej Pratap – but the former Uttar Pradesh (UP) CM was not on it.

The Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) chief Shivpal Yadav slammed his estranged nephew Akhilesh and accused him of disrespecting his father.

Speaking to media in Firozabad, Shivpal Yadav said “It’s quite disheartening to hear that Mulayam is being insulted and ignored. The SP has included those in the list who cannot get 10 votes in their personal capacity but chose to ignore the leader who formed the political party and established it. I had formed a separate party after getting blessings of my elder brother and netaji (Mulayam) is free to join me for campaigning across the state. We have already decided not to field candidate against him in Mainpuri.”

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath also hit out at Akhilesh by posting a strong statement on Twitter.

“It’s quite unfortunate that Mulayam who along with his brother established the SP by launching a door-to-door campaign wearing torn slippers has not been included in the list of campaigners by his son. In order to get power, he acted like Mughals by also ignoring his uncle and joining hands with his arch rival. A person who cannot be loyal to his father will never be able to serve the people,” said Adityanath launching a sharp attack against Akhilesh.

Meanwhile, after facing negative reactions from various political parties and on social media, the SP came out with an amended list later in the evening with Mulayam’s name featuring on top of the list of 40 star campaigners for the first and second phase of the elections.

The SP leaders and spokespersons abstained from giving any official response to this controversy but inside sources say that the top leadership took the decision of sidelining Mulayam citing his old age.

However sources within the SP also say that both Akhilesh and Mayawati were unhappy after Mulayam openly backed Narendra Modi as the next prime minister in the last parliament session. Initially the decision of ignoring the SP patriarch was taken to avoid any embarrassment with statements that sends a negative signal for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance.

A senior SP leader on the condition of anonymity said “Mulayam is unhappy after Akhilesh joined hands with Mayawati. He has now got more angry after his son took the decision of jointly campaigning with the BSP supremo for the party founder in Mainpuri, his stronghold. This step could further escalate rift within the Yadav clan.”

Also Read | SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to contest from Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat

Also Watch | Lok Sabha elections 2019: Akhilesh Yadav to contest from Mulayam Singh’s Azamgarh seat


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