The Uttar Pradesh government has downgraded the security cover of Shivpal Yadav from 'Z' to 'Y' category, days after the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) leader mended fences with his nephew, Akhilesh Yadav, and started campaigning for the Samajwadi Party candidate in Mainpuri Lok Sabha bypoll.
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav called the move "objectionable" and also hit out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for likening his uncle to a pendulum.
"Following a review at the meeting of the state level security committee on November 25, it has been decided to provide 'Y' category security to Shivpal Singh Yadav in place of 'Z'," a letter written by Superintendent of Police (training and security), Vaibhav Krishan said.
The letter, dated November 27, has been sent to the police commissionerate Lucknow and senior superintendent of police Etawah. Shivpal was given 'Z' security in 2018 by the Adityanath government.
According to police, 'Y' category security comprises 11 security personnel, including two PSOs (private security guards), while 'Z' category security comprises a total of 22 security personnel, including four to five NSG commandos.
Attacking the BJP government for downgrading his uncle's security and likening him to a football and pendulum, Akhilesh said in a tweet in Hindi, "It is objectionable to reduce the security cover of Shivpal Singh Yadav. It is also to be noted that a pendulum is a symbol of movement of time and indicates the change of time for everyone. It says that there is nothing stable on which one could be proud of."
His remarks come after Adityanath mocked Shivpal for changing sides. "One day I was reading a statement by uncle Shivpal, his condition has become like that of a pendulum,” the chief minister said at a rally to back BJP nominee Raghuraj Singh Shakya. He said a pendulum commands no respect and one should not become that in life.
It was only recently that the Samajwadi Party made Shivpal its star campaigner in Mainpuri where it is locked in a direct contest with BJP's Shakya in the by-poll slated for December 5. The party has fielded Akhilesh's wife and former MP Dimple Yadav on SP's bastion Mainpuri.
The development came close on the heels of the burying of hatchets between warring Shivpal and Akhilesh and joining hands once again. The by-election has been necessitated following the death of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav last month.
The 'chacha-bhatija' (Shivpal and Akhilesh) who have not been on good terms for a long time after falling out with each other following a turf war in 2016 have come together once again to retain the seat terming the win as a tribute to Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In a strategic move, the BJP had fielded Shakya, considered to be Shivpal's loyalist, against Dimple hoping to exploit the rift in the family which appears to be failing as the Yadav family has joined ranks.
Shivpal's support is considered important as his Jaswantnagar assembly constituency falls in the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat and he is a popular leader there. Counting of votes will be undertaken on December 8.
(With PTI Inputs)