Lucknow: The new political outfit floated by Shivpal Yadav, the rebel Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and estranged uncle of former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, will be known as 'Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia', it was announced here at a party convention on Tuesday.
The former number two in the SP, Shivpal Yadav, is the younger brother of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
He announced that the Election Commission had granted his party the new name and added that he will ensure that every marginalized person in the political and social system found a voice in his party.
Yadav said that time had come to take the socialist movement forward in the form of the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party- Lohia (PSP-L).
He cautioned party workers to keep away from people who flatter and sugar-coat their words. This, he said, had led to the downfall of the SP and should be taken as a serious lesson.
He also informed that 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.
SP leaders allege that Shivpal is being propped up by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to dent the prospects of the SP, especially in Yadav-dominated belts.
The recent allotment of a sprawling bungalow vacated by Mayawati to Shivpal is also being cited as a proof of the growing proximity between the Yadav chieftain and the saffron camp. Shivpal, however, has trashed such charges.