Rift in SP ahead of presidential poll

Xavier Trudeau
Juillet 17, 2017

Though the division in the party may not have any bearing on the election result, it will certainly complicate the family feud further, said an SP insider, requesting anonymity. Mulayam had also attended a dinner which was hosted by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Lucknow visit on June 20.

According to the sources, some legislators of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP are likely to support the NDA's nominee, Ramnath Kovind. While 17 opposition parties have backed Meira Kumar for the country's top constitutional post, Kovind is set to get almost 70 per cent of the electoral college votes. I have very old relations with him. The BJP has chosen a strong candidate. "The most important thing is that the BJP has a majority", Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav had said on record. Read: How are the votes calculated? Soon after the meeting, Samajwadi party spokespersons told the media that Akhilesh had asked all MPs and MLAs of the party to vote for Meira Kumar in the July 17 elections.

Meira Kumar met Akhilesh Yadav on Friday and sought his support. Polling for the presidential elections is to be held on Monday. Shivpal claimed that several SP MLAs were with him, but did not reveal the exact number. "He is a good man and the best candidate", Mr. Shivpal Yadav said. "Netaji jo kahengey wahi hoga (Whatever netaji says will happen)", he said.

"If cross voting does take place, Akhilesh Yadav should take action against those who defy the party line and set an example that the party will not tolerate indiscipline", said a SP MLA.

Both Mulayam and his brother Shivpal have been on the other side of a long and bitter turf war against Akhilesh, who finally succeeded in taking control of his party days before Uttar Pradesh voted in Assembly elections earlier this year.

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