The former minister in the Samajwadi Party government and independent MLA from the Kunda Assembly seat of Pratapgarh, Raghuraj Pratap Singh, also known as ‘Raja Bhaiyya’, has met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav at the latter’s residence in Lucknow today. Raja Bhaiyya who is known as a big leader of the Thakur community had estranged relations with his former ally Samajwadi Party after Akhilesh Yadav took over as the party chief.
As per reports, Raghuraj Pratap Singh had sought time to meet Mulayam Singh Yadav after which he reached Yadav’s residence today at around 11:15 am. Although Raja Bhaiyya has termed the meeting as purely ‘courtesy meet’ but with just months left for the 2022 UP Assembly elections, political speculations are rife of any kind of understanding between Akhilesh Yadav and the Raja Bhaiyya. Sources also suggest that Raghuraj spoke to the SP chief over the phone on Wednesday evening.
The six-time MLA from Kunda, Raja Bhaiyya tweeted a picture of himself with Mulayam Singh Yadav after meeting and wrote, “Met honourable Mulayam Singh Yadav after a long time, emotional moment.”
Speaking to the media in Lucknow on Thursday, Raja Bhaiyya said, “I had come to wish birthday to Mulayam Singh Yadav. I have to wish Neta Ji every year on his birthday. His birthday was not celebrated for the last two years so I couldn’t come. There should be no political speculation about this meeting.”
Raja Bhaiyya had differences with Samajwadi Party over SP-BSP closeness during the Rajya Sabha Polls in 2018. The political hostility between Raja Bhaiyya and BSP chief Mayawati is well known in UP. After this Raghuraj had announced his political outfit, Jansatta Dal. Singh is said to have a good rapport with Mulayam Singh and he has even served as a minister when Mulayam was the Chief Minister of the State.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha Member and UP in-charge Sanjay Singh went on to meet Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. The meeting between the two leaders took place at Janeshwar Mishra Trust fueling political speculations of any kind of understanding between SP and AAP regarding some key seats of UP in the NCR region for the 2022 UP State Assembly elections. However, both the camps had termed the meeting purely as a ‘courtesy’ meeting.
This was the third meeting between Sanjay Singh and Akhilesh Yadav in recent times. Earlier on Monday, on the occasion of Mulayam Singh’s birthday, there was a meeting between the two leaders. Sanjay Singh even tweeted his picture while presenting a bouquet to Mulayam Singh and wrote, “Happy Birthday to the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Hon’ble Mulayam Singh Yadav ji, the leader of Indian politics. I met him at his residence in Lucknow and wished him a long life.”
Apart from this, Sanjay Singh had also met Akhilesh on the occasion of Akhilesh’s birthday in July, when he had praised the SP chief and also enumerated the similarities between him and Kejriwal. Speculations are rife in the political corridors of UP regarding this meeting as some political analysts are not ruling out an understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the SP chief had met Rashtriya Lok Dal Chief Jayant Chaudhary at his residence in Lucknow and had indicated firming of alliance between the two parties. It is now expected that a formal announcement of an alliance between RLD and SP for 30 to 35 odd seats of Jatland in Western Uttar Pradesh may be done soon.