Rebel Samajwadi Party leader and estranged uncle of former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav launched his new party – Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia – at a party convention in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Shivpal Yadav is the younger brother of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
At the event, Yadav announced that the Election Commission had granted his party the new name and added that he would ensure every marginalised person in the political and social system found a voice in his party.
Yadav said time had come to take the socialist movement forward in the form of the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party- Lohia (PSP-L).
“Our new party has been registered. Its name is Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party Lohia,” Yadav said at an event to enroll members for the morcha. Yadav’s aide and former minister Sharda Pratap Shukla said the new party will become a big force in the state.
Yadav said 40 small and regional parties had so far come under the umbrella of his party. Completely marginalized in the SP, a party he founded with Mulayam Singh Yadav, Azam Khan and Beni Prasad Verma some 25 years back, Shivpal has also announced his intention to field 80 candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Yadav, who was formerly irrigation and PWD minister in successive SP government, has broken ranks with the SP after Akhilesh Yadav saw him out as the state SP chief in January 2017 and completely banished him from the party.
Shivpal waited for more than a year before he decided to carve out his own outfit, initially named as Samajwadi Secular Front.
Mulayam Singh Yadav who initially threw his weight behind Shivpal has since distanced himself from his younger brother and is inching closer to his son.
On 29 August, Yadav had launched the Samajwadi Secular Morcha after complaining that he felt neglected in the SP after his nephew Akhilesh took charge.
Shivpal Yadav, however, is still a SP legislator from Jaswant Nagar in Etawah district.
(With agency inputs)