The framework of the Samajwadi Secular Morcha is being worked out and a formal announcement in this regard will be made soon, senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav said today. Shivpal refused to comment on whether the SSM will eventually part ways with the Samajwadi Party or be an outfit operating within the SP. “The framework of the Samajwadi Secular Morcha (SSM) is being currently worked out and a formal announcement in this regard will be made at the appropriate and auspicious time,” he told PTI. Sources in the SSM said it will remain a part of the SP. “It is a foregone conclusion,” an SP leader said. “The SSM is a forum of different like-minded political parties. The idea of morcha was approved as there are many like-minded political parties which are ready to extend their support to us to fight the communal forces,” he said.
“The morcha will also prove its political utility in amalgamation of smaller parties in the future, unlike political parties,” he said. Senior socialist leader Raghunandan Singh ‘Kaka’, while commenting on the relevance of the morcha said, “The SSM will endeavour to bring all the socialist leaders from UP under one umbrella, so as to pose a stiff challenge to the communal forces.” “It will try to follow and imbibe the principles of Ram Manohar Lohia, Acharya Narendra Dev, Jai Prakash Narayan, Charan Singh and other socialist veterans,” he said.
SSM sources said senior SP leaders Bhagwati Singh and Beni Prasad Verma (former Union minister) are also in touch with senior leaders of the morcha. “Even some senior office bearers of front organisations of the SP are in touch with the SSM,” another SSM leader said requesting anonymity. On May 5, Shivpal had declared in Etawah that his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav will head a secular front to be formed by him. “For social justice, Samajwadi Secular Morcha will be formed. Netaji (Mulayam) will be its national president,” Shivpal had told reporters. The warring uncle of Akhilesh made the announcement after a meeting with Mulayam at a relative’s house. Shivpal held discussions on forming the new secular front.
He, however, did not explain what the new front would do- whether it would contest polls against the SP or strengthen it by bringing socialists under one roof. Shivpal had been saying that he would soon launch a campaign to unite “samajwadis” (socialists) to bring them on a single platform. “Akhilesh had promised to hand over the party to ‘netaji’ (Mulayam). He should do so now and we all will strengthen the SP. I had also given him three months’ time. Otherwise, I will constitute a new secular front,” Shivpal had said. The SP had witnessed a bitter feud between Shivpal and nephew Akhilesh in the run up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Shivpal had earlier replaced Akhilesh as the state unit chief following which Akhilesh removed his uncle from the state cabinet. Many in the party blamed the power struggle between Akhilesh and Shivpal as the reason behind Samajwadi Party’s dismal performance. The SP contested the polls under Akhilesh’s leadership but suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the BJP. Mulayam had earlier blamed Akhilesh for the Samajwadi Party’s poor performance and said that his son had insulted him.
Recently, the SP patron said that he had made a mistake by making Akhilesh the chief minister. Mulayam said the voters understood that “one who is not loyal to his father, cannot be loyal to anyone” which led to the party’s poll debacle. “I was badly insulted which I had never faced in my life. Nevertheless, I tolerated it. No leader of any party in India had made his son a chief minister during his lifetime, but I made Akhilesh the chief minister of UP,” he had said. After filing his nomination for the state polls in January, Shivpal had said he would form a new party after the election results are declared. But, subsequently he had said there was no such move.
“Those who are claiming to be samajwadis (socialists) had distributed tickets in Lok Sabha polls (2014) and the party won only 5 out of 80 seats in the state. Because of them, in assembly polls too the party’s tally came down to 47 from 227 in the 403-member House. They should themselves analyse,” he had said. Shivpal had recently said, “We will not let the legacy of samajwad (socialism) weaken and will soon launch a campaign to unite socialists to bring them on one platform.” Following a bitter feud between the father and the son, Akhilesh had snatched reins of the party from Mulayam and their fight also reached the Election Commission.
Shivpal had indicated that the family could be united if Akhilesh stepped back and resigned from the post of national president, accepting moral responsibility for the party’s dismal performance in the recent assembly polls. But, Akhilesh’s confidant, Ram Gopal Yadav, had said a few days back that Shivpal should read the constitution of the SP before seeking the resignation. Ram Gopal had said that Akhilesh would not resign under any circumstances and that there was no question of handing over the party to Mulayam.