Buzz over Shivpal-BJP `bonhomie’ in UP, Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle may get Deputy Speaker’s post

Amid reports of a growing friendship between Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia president Shivpal Yadav and the BJP, speculations are rife that he may become the Deputy Speaker in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly with the support of the ruling party.

PSPL spokesperson Deepak Mishra told PTI, “Such speculation is going on. Sky is not the limit and neither is politics. The doors of possibilities in politics are never closed.”

Shivpal Yadav formed his party in 2019 after a rift with his nephew, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav. But before the recent assembly elections, the two came back together and Shivpal Yadav won from Jaswantnagar on an SP ticket.

The tension between the two appears to have flared up again after the election results, with the BJP returning to power for a second consecutive term.

PSPL spokesperson recalled the experience of Shivpal Yadav as MLA. “If MLAs give him this responsibility, it will enhance the dignity of the assembly,” Mishra said.

Asked why Yadav was eyeing the deputy speaker’s post, he said, “What post is left for him now? He cannot become the speaker. Nor can he become the Leader of the House or the Leader of the Opposition.”

Mishra said that no official proposal has come on the election of PSPL leader for the post of vice-president. “But if such a proposal comes, Shivpal Yadav will be the first choice of the ruling party and the opposition,” he said.

When asked about the possibility, UP Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Jaswant Singh Saini said, “I have no information in this regard.”

Earlier there was speculation that Yadav would be sent to Rajya Sabha by the BJP and his son Aditya Yadav would contest from the Jaswantnagar assembly seat vacated by him.

In October 2021, BJP-backed SP rebel Nitin Agarwal was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the UP Legislative Assembly.

There have been signs of tension in the opposition alliance led by Akhilesh Yadav in recent days and his uncle Shivpal Yadav has indicated that he is moving towards the BJP.

He has met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and started following Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and former Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on Twitter.

The rift between Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav escalated after the uncle was not invited to a meeting of newly elected SP MLAs on March 26. Shivpal Yadav then did not attend the meeting of the opposition alliance chaired by Akhilesh Yadav.

He later went to the CM’s residence here, prompting speculation that he might switch sides.

Another member of the Yadav family has already crossed over. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joined BJP before the assembly elections.

Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav met his father, SP Patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, in New Delhi on Saturday. But what happened between them is not known.

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