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. Polling for the presidential elections is to be held on Monday.
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.
His younger brother Shivpal Yadav has also said that he would do whatever Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav directed him to do.
“Ram Nath Kovind is a good candidate. I have a very old relationship with him. BJP has selected a strong candidate. The most important thing is that the BJP has a majority,” Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary (SP) said on Sunday that party president Akhilesh Yadav had instructed all SP MPs and MLAs to vote for Meira Kumar in the presidential elections on Monday.
If cross voting takes place in SP — as is now expected — it would create a piquant situation for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav.
“If cross voting does take place, Akhilesh Yadav should take action against those who defy the party line and set an example that the party will not tolerate indiscipline,” said a SP MLA.
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.