Unique Yogi – Shivpal bonhomie quite a talk of the town

Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, lashed out at the opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) and poked fun at its leader Akhilesh Yadav during his speech to the legislature, but he was more diplomatic with Shivpal Singh Yadav, the uncle of the previous chief minister.

Yogi said he respected Shivpal since he endured unfair treatment and had to put up a fight. The comment generated discussion over the close friendship between Shivpal and Yogi.

During his speech at the budget session, the chief minister added, “I admire you as you were treated unfairly and were exposed to hardship and injustice.

Shivpal and Yogi continued their chat after that. While the CM was promoting the construction projects completed by the BJP administration, he brought up the Bansagar irrigation project. Shivpal cut Yogi off before he could finish, adding, “Agar hataye na gaye hote to poora kar dete” (I would have completed the project had this department not been taken away from me). When I served as the irrigation minister for the previous SP administration, around 90% of the work was finished. Others, including the CM, grinned in response.

After a power struggle between the two in September 2016, the then-chief minister Akhilesh Yadav removed from Shivpal the public works and irrigation departments.

The CM said, “Despite this you were able to accomplish most of it, people realized that you won’t be able to finish it, therefore they chose us,” in response to his statement.

Yogi continued by claiming that things would have been different if Shivpal had been a member of the BJP.

While the House members continued to chuckle at this, Shivpal Yadav got up and remarked, “Jab jago, tab savera (It’s never too late to correct your ways)”.

As Shivpal informed the CM, “We were in contact with each other for three long years,” the assembly, which had previously seen numerous acrimonious arguments and demonstrations on various matters, burst into laughing. Yogi said, “We’re still in contact,” at this point.

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