NEW DELHI: Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief Shivpal Singh Yadav on Saturday attacked his nephew and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh for supporting Yashwant Sinha for President’s post.
In a statement, Shivpal, who was once a number 2 in the SP but lost the succession battle to Akhilesh, criticised the latter for supporting Sinha who once called SP patriarch and former UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav an “agent” of Pakistani agency ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence).
Calling the party’s decision as “unfortunate” and “strange irony of fate”, Shivpal, the younger brother of Mulayam, said Akhilesh had turned the party into a laughing stock.
“The Samajwadi Party has supported the person in the presidential election, who had called respected Netaji (Mulayam), guardian of all of us and the source of inspiration and energy, as an agent of Pakistani intelligence organisation ISI when he was defence minister,” Shivpal said in the statement.
He further said, “It is unfortunate that the Samajwadi Party did not get a name with a distinct socialist heritage as a presidential candidate.”
Shivpal, who contested this year’s UP assembly elections with SP but recently decided to challenge it in the upcoming civic polls, suggested his former CM nephew to reconsider his decision.
On Friday, UP deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak shared an old newspaper clipping on Twitter that carried Sinha’s statement referring to Mulayam as an ‘ISI agent”.
Hitting back at the BJP, the SP had called both the leaders “pracharjeevi” (propagandists).
Sinha faces NDA presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu in the July 18 elections.
With the support of regional parties like the BJD, YSR Congress Party, the BSP, the AIADMK, the TDP, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Shiv Sena, the JMM, and the JD(S), Murmu is poised to sail through.