Samajwadi Party stands divided on eve of Presidential polls

Next President of India: Samajwadi Party divided, Shivpal backs Kovind

Next President of India: Samajwadi Party divided, Shivpal backs Kovind

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Friday said he will vote for Opposition. Meira is likely to bag around 4 lakh votes despite the support of many regional parties like the RJD, traditional rivals the SP and the BSP and the TMC and the CPI-M.

The sharp differences in the SP on the issue of presidential nominee was clear right from the day Ram Nath Kovind was chosen as the NDA nominee.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, who attended a dinner hosted by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on June 20, has said that he would not vote for the UPA candidate but for Mr Kovind.

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NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is set to become 14th President of India, BJP wanted to capitalize the reported conflict within Samajwadi Party to secure record votes from Uttar Pradesh.

"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". I have a very old relations with him. BJP has selected a strong candidate. Read: How are the votes calculated? The polls take place on July 17. Interestingly, Mr. Shivpal Yadav and senior party leader Azam Khan were conspicuous by their absence.

"Akhilesh has asked SP MLAs to vote for Kumar", he said.

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Meira Kumar met Akhilesh Yadav on Friday and sought his support. Shivpal claimed that several SP MLAs were with him, but did not reveal the exact number. "The party will back the candidate that he chooses", said a party source. "Netaji jo kahengey wahi hoga (Whatever netaji says will happen)", he said. Meanwhile, Shivpal's loyalist Deepak Mishra, though not a voter, said, "we pledge open support to Kovind".

However, it is unlikely that Akhilesh Yadav will initiate action against his father Mulayam Singh whom he had deposed from the post of party president in January, this year.

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