Shivpal Yadav not in SP’s list of star campaigners

Lucknow, (IANS) : Former Samajwadi Party (SP) state president Shivpal Singh Yadav does not figure in the list of 40 ‘star campaigners’ issued by the party for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections.

The former PWD Minister, who enjoyed the number two status in the state government, has since fallen from grace of his nephew and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav after a bitter power struggle in the party and the first family.

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He has been already axed as the state unit chief and replaced by Akhilesh loyalist Naresh Uttam and been relegated to a virtual nobody in the party.

What is set to add injury to insult is the fact that barring Shivpal Singh Yadav, all other members of the Yadav clan who are in active politics have been named in the list.

This includes party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, Kannauj MP and wife of the Chief Minister Dimple Yadav, Budayun MP Dharmendra Yadav, Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Singh and Lok Sabha member from Firozabad Akshay Yadav. Others in the list are Kironmoy Nanda, Naresh Agarwal, Mohd Azam Khan, Surendra Nagar, Sanjay Lathar, Udayveer Singh, Kamaal Akhtar and Neeraj Shekhar.

Under pressure from the party’s mentor Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shivpal Singh has however been given ticket from his traditional Jaswantnagar seat in Etawah.

The latest move is likely to further upset Mulayam, who is said to be already annoyed with his son for unceremoniously ousting him as national president.