Samajwadi Party stands divided on eve of Presidential polls

Samajwadi Party stands divided on eve of Presidential polls

Samajwadi Party stands divided on eve of Presidential polls

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.

Samajwadi Party chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary rubbished the possibility of party MPs and MLAs voting for the NDA's candidate.

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav on Friday said he will vote for Opposition Parties' presidential Candidate Ramnath Kovind in the upcoming presidential polls. 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.

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On the other hand, BSP leader in the Assembly, Lalji Verma, said that the party has made a decision to vote for Meira Kumar and no one would vote for the BJP's candidate. I have a very old relations with him. When reminded of an "informal" whip issued by SP to support Meira Kumar, Shivpal quipped: "What whip?"

The Samajwadi Party, which has 47 MLAs in the 403-member House, is officially backing the Congress-led Opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar, the former Lok Sabha Speaker. Both Mulayam and his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav have indicated that they would support Kovind. Recently, Mulayam Singh Yadav had praised BJP's move to nominate Kovind. "People always like to go with the victor", Shivpal said after casting his vote. Mr. Shivpal Yadav has announced in Varanasi that he along with "several" SP MLAs and MPs will vote for Mr. Kovind. Mulayam's vote for Kovind became a foregone conclusion the very day he openly described him as a "strong candidate". "He is a good man and the best candidate", Mr. Shivpal Yadav said. Sources, however, said that around half a dozen SP legislators may ditch Akhilesh. While 17 opposition parties have backed Meira Kumar for the country's top constitutional post, Kovind is set to get almost 70 per cent of the electoral college votes.

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