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17 July 2017, 07:36 | Myron Mathis
Akhilesh and Shivpal Yadav
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.
Soon after this, Leader of Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh assembly and senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Govind Chowdhary refuted Shivpal's claims and denied any party legislator had voted for Kovind. After securing a clean sweep during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the politically crucial state, BJP won the Assembly elections with historic mandate a few months ago. Meanwhile, Mulayam's brother and SP MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav announced his support for Kovind in Varanasi last week.
The opposition presidential nominee, during a day's visit to the city earlier today, met Akhilesh at the party office before meeting BSP supremo Mayawati to seek votes.
Mulayam has voted for NDA Ram Nath Kovind. I have very old relations with him. Recently, Mulayam Singh Yadav had praised BJP's move to nominate Kovind.
On Friday Shivpal Singh Yadav made it clear that all is not well yet within the Samajwadi party.
Samajwadi Party veterans' support to Kovind was also acknowledged by Yogi Adityanath. While the SP has backed Opposition's nominee Meira Kumar's candidature, Shivpal's announcement is a new twist in the tale.
Samajwadi Party chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary rubbished the possibility of party MPs and MLAs voting for the NDA's candidate.
When asked why he was not following the party line, he snapped back by saying that his view was not asked for by the party leadership and hence it was not binding on him on what was the official party line with regard to the presidential elections.
With the father-son duo again at loggerheads, the votes of the Samajwadi party are all set to be divided in the Presidential election. Notably, the SP has 47 MLAs, five Lok Sabha members and 18 Rajya Sabha members from UP.
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