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Mulayam Singh Sends Brother Shivpal To Delhi To Explore 'Grand Alliance'

NEW DELHI:  Shivpal Yadav is in Delhi to invite leaders of several other parties for the grand 25th birthday celebrations of the Samajwadi Party in Lucknow next week, among them prominent Uttar Pradesh leader Ajit Singh and Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal United.

The Delhi visit of the Samajwadi Party's UP chief comes a day after he invited "all followers of Lohia, Chaudhary Charan Singh and Gandhi to come together and fight communal forces," and he is expected to pursue putting together for the UP elections, a "Grand Alliance" on the lines of the one that fought and won the Bihar elections under Nitish Kumar's stewardship last year.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had pulled out of the Bihar alliance in what is widely seen as a political misstep, and his younger brother Shivpal has blamed Ram Gopal Yadav, their cousin, who was recently sacked from the party.

Shivpal Yadav said yesterday that he had brought parties together for that alliance in Bihar, but Ram Gopal Yadav - people no more in the party, he said - scuttled the plans. Eventually, Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal United, Lalu Yadav of the RJD and the Congress contested as partners, scoring a big win in Bihar.

The Samajwadi Party has been hit by a massive family feud that has placed Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh at opposite ends. Mulayam Singh now reportedly sees prudence in setting up an alliance that will help his party consolidate backward and minority votes in time to take on the BJP and Mayawati's BSP in the UP elections, to be held early next year.

Amid his tussle for control with his uncle Shivpal, who has so far been steadfastly backed by Mulayam Singh, Akhilesh Yadav has ruled out splitting the Samajwadi Party, but has so far been clear that he favours going solo in the UP elections.   

Sources said Ajit Singh, a Jat leader and the son of Chaudhary Charan Singh who Shivpal Yadav had invoked yesterday, is open to the idea of a pre-election tie-up with the Samajwadi Party, but believes a bigger "Grand Alliance" will be more effective.  

At a recent rally that he held in UP, JD(U) leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav had shared stage with Ajit Singh.

Source : NDTV.com

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