Akhilesh starts meeting SP old guards to strengthen party base

In an attempt to strengthen his party base, Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav is reviving ties with old guards who had been sidelined for many years. Several leaders have reacted positively to it

By Biswajeet Banerjee

With BSP Chief Mayawati hardening her stand on the alliance and declaring that her party will not “beg” for seats and if she does not get “honorable share” in seat sharing the Bahujan Samaj Party will prefer to go alone, Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav is reviving ties with old guards who had been sidelined for many years.

The beginning was made on Monday, October 8, when Akhilesh went to meet Rajya Sabha member Beni Prasad Verma. A day earlier he had a meeting with Reoti Raman Singh, another Samajwadi Party stalwart who had been distanced ever since Akhilesh had taken charge of the party sidelining his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Leaders in Samajwadi Party told this reporter that Akhilesh had one-to-one meeting with these two leaders where they discussed emerging political equation after Mayawati had declared that she would contest elections in three states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan alone forcing Samajwadi Party too to go alone.

Beni Prasad Verma, a kurmi by caste, has been an old associate of Mulayam Singh for five decades but joined Congress after he developed differences with him. But later he re-joined Samajwadi Party in 2016. He again distanced himself from the party after his son was denied ticket in 20117 elections.

Akhilesh’s move to reach out to old guards is seen as a compulsion after his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav floated a new party. In political circles Shivpal Singh Yadav is known as a “party man” having a political vision. He along with Mulayam Singh Yadav had built the Samajwadi party

Akhilesh’s move to reach out to old guards is seen as a compulsion after his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav floated a new party. In political circles Shivpal Singh Yadav is known as a “party man” having a political vision. He along with Mulayam Singh Yadav had built the Samajwadi party. Shivpal is still in touch with old guards and has roped in disgruntled elements in Samajwadi Party into his newly formed Samajwadi Secular Morcha.

“Akhilesh is now trying to strengthen his political base. Through these meetings he has also tried to reach out to the old guards and has made an attempt to read their mind whether they will stick with Samajwadi party or might go with Shivpal Yadav’s party,” a SP leader said.

People close to Beni Verma said the meeting between Verma and Akhilesh was a good start and might bear fruits in the near future.

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