Lucknow: Putting to rest all speculations over his next move, senior Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav said on Wednesday that he had formed a secular front. Speaking to ANI, Yadav said, “I have constituted Samajwadi Secular Morcha. All those who are not being respected in Samajwadi Party should come with us. We will also bring together other smaller parties.” Yadav has been unhappy over how he has been sidelined ever since fissures within the party got very obvious and his nephew and former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav anointed himself as the party president. Yadav has been a Mulayam loyalist and though he announced a secular front as early as last year, apparently he was biding his time.

On Sunday, Yadav had spoken openly about being sidelined within the party when he said he had been waiting for the past one-and-a-half years to get a “responsible position” in the party. “I have been waiting for a responsible position in the party. It has been 1.5 years and I am still waiting. I believe all party members should unite and fight in upcoming 2019 general elections,” he said. Just a day before that, patriarch Mulayam had lamented how no one honoured him anymore and that it might happen after his death. (Also read: Will Shivpal’s Secular Morcha be a Force to Reckon With)

Earlier, Yadav had also said that had Akhilesh listened to party seniors, he would’ve continued to be the UP chief minister. “As kids, Akhilesh Yadav and (local MP) Dharmendra Yadav have played in my lap. I looked after them and got them married but the new generation does not listen to anyone.” The SP had witnessed a bitter feud between Shivpal and Akhilesh in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. Under Akhilesh’s leadership, the SP suffered a humiliating defeat in the polls at the hands of the BJP. The SP-Congress alliance managed to win only 54 seats as opposed to the BJP-led NDA’s 325.