LUCKNOW: Sidelined Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav today launched a new outfit - Samajwadi Secular Morcha - and said he would try to unite smaller parties under it.
However, Shivpal, the estranged uncle of Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, refused to answer whether the Morcha will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
"I have formed Samajwadi Secular Morcha. I was neglected in the Samajwadi Party and waited for two years. I was neither informed nor invited in party programmes and no responsibility was given to me," Shivpal, who is still a SP legislator, told reporters at his residence here.
"I waited this long because I wanted the SP to stay united. We are now going to villages and districts and working towards strengthening our morcha", he added.
"There are many neglected workers in the SP. They will be assigned responsibilities and asked to strengthen our Morcha. I will also try to unite backwards and smaller parties under the Morcha," he said
Asked whether SP founder and his brother Mulayam Singh Yadav will be part of the Morcha, Shivpal said, "We will give him due honour and ask others also to do the same."
To a question, Shivpal, the MLA from Jaswantnagar, dismissed rumours of his joining forces with the BJP or any other political party.
BJP Minister and President of Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) Om Prakash Rajbhar had met Shivpal Yadav at his residence on Tuesday night, but both the leaders maintained that the meeting was personal and not political.
The announcement of the Morcha came a day after expelled SP leader Amar Singh claimed that he had set up a meeting between Shivpal and top BJP leaders, but it did not take place as Shivpal skipped the scheduled meeting.
"I have spoken to top BJP leaders for Shivpal. The time (of meeting) was also fixed but he did not turn up," Amar Singh had yesterday told reporters.
"Now, I have no political responsibility for him. I am not in touch with him," he said.
Speaking to reporters on Raksha Bandhan in Etawah on Sunday, Shivpal Singh had said that he was "still waiting for some responsibility" to be assigned by the party.
"I want that we should contest the coming Lok Sabha elections together (Hum chaahte hai ki aagaami Lok Sabha chunaav mein saath milkar ladhe)...For the past one-and-half years, I am waiting for some responsibility to be assigned to me, but so far the party has not assigned any responsibility ", he had stated.
"Almost one-and-half years have passed, and for how long will I tolerate being ignored (lekin intezaar karte-karte dedh saal se jyada ho gaya, kahaan tak upekshaa bardaasht ki jaaye)," he had asked.
Shivpal was maintaining a low profile after the family feud in the Samajwadi family came to the fore before the 2017 Assembly elections and he was removed from the post of SP state president.
He was not invited to SP's national executive since then and any other meeting. There have been attempts made by sections in the family to arrive at some permanent political settlement to the festering problem.
He also held a couple of meetings with Mulayam's cousin and Akhilesh loyalist Ram Gopal Yadav and was also present at the latter's birthday and was seen offering cake to him.
At time when Akhilesh is trying to materialise grand alliance with BSP, RLD and the Congress ahead of the 2019 general elections, Shivpal was totally ignored and neglected and despite offering his services for strengthening the party he was not assigned any work in the party.