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Samajwadi Party divided, Shivpal backs Kovind

17 Juillet 2017

Ram Govind Chaudhary, SP Legislature Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said, "Everyone should support Kumar".

On the eve of voting for the President's post, divisions emerged in the Samajwadi Party with the majority of the SP MLAs preparing to vote for UPA candidate Meira Kumar and the faction owing allegiance to Mulayam Singh Yadav professing support to NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday.

If cross voting takes place in SP - as is now expected - it would create a piquant situation for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.

Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav with his brother and senior leader Shivpal Singh Yadav.

"Abhi mujhse to kewal Ram Nath Kovind ne vote maanga hai, maine mann bana liya h jisne abhi tak manga hai, usi ka mann banaya hai". In a written appeal circulated to all SP MLAs, Ms. Kumar said that the presidential election has given one an opportunity to transcend petty politics and listen to the inner conscience. I have very old relations with him.

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Mr. Akhilesh Yadav has instructed his MLAs to vote for Ms. Kumar, as she "represented a secular ideology".

Both Mulayam and his brother Shivpal have been on the other side of a long and bitter turf war against Akhilesh, who finally succeeded in taking control of his party days before Uttar Pradesh voted in Assembly elections earlier this year. BJP has selected a strong candidate. MLAs and MPs are bound by what he says. "He is a good man and the best candidate", Mr. Shivpal Yadav said.

With the father-son duo again at loggerheads, the votes of the Samajwadi party are all set to be divided in the Presidential election.

The Samajwadi Party veterans' support to Kovind was also acknowledged by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Former Lok Sabha speaker Meira's candidature was announced by a united Opposition comprising of 17 parties of which SP was also a part.

Samajwadi Party divided, Shivpal backs Kovind