Not on BJP’s behest: Shivpal Yadav on floating SSF

Muzzaffarnagar: Disgruntled Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Friday refuted allegations of being in talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after he floated Samajwadi Secular Front (SSF). Yadav said he remains loyal to the Samajwadi Party.

“The BJP had called me for my vote in the Rajya Sabha polls. But the National President of Samajwadi Party called me at the last moment and asked for my vote, and I didn’t go with BJP but voted for Jaya Bachchan,” Shivpal said in a public meeting in Muzzaffarnagar’s Budhaana.

“People say this (new front) is being done on the behest of the BJP. The BJP hasn’t said anything. I am not in touch with BJP,” he added while refuting charges of cosying up with the BJP. Yadav, however, evaded questions about the SSF contesting the 2019 general elections.

Shivpal, who claimed he was marginalised in SP, requested fellow partymen who might be feeling humiliated in the party to join him. “I have waited for long but haven’t been given any responsibility. All those seniors, who haven’t been given their due by the party, are requested to join this front,” Shivpal said.

Noting that he was expelled from SP without any charges, Shivpal said he always stood beside his elder brother and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav to keep the entire Samajwadi Party intact.

“I was also a minister, I had important portfolios, not a single charge was levelled against me. I thought there shouldn’t be a split in the party and I sweared in the name of my only son, I only wanted respect of Netaji,” he said.