Mulayam-Shivpal a big zero in Samajwadi party: Afzal Ansari

Lucknow: Qaumi Ekta Dal (QED) President Afzal Ansari on Tuesday slammed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, saying that by cancelling the merger of the outfit with Samajwadi Party he had shown disrespect to Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Singh Yadav. Addressing reporters here, Ansari said days of both Mulayam and Shivpal were "over" in the Samajwadi Party as Akhilesh was calling the shots.  Claiming a groundswell of support for his legislator brother Muktaar Ansari, now in Agra jail, the QED President said that in the assembly election the Samajwadi Party will pay a heavy price. Praising PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav, Ansari said he had always tried to strengthen the party and treated Mulayam as a God. But now, both Mulayam and Shivpal were a big zero in the party, he added. He also said that prior to the merger, state ministers Ambika Chowdhary and Balram Yadav had taken him to Mulayam where the merger was agreed upon. Mulayam, he disclosed, had told them that time had come to regroup to stop communal forces from coming to power in UP and that the merger of QED with SP will strengthen the party base in eastern part of the state. He also alleged that despite Shivpal being a popular leader in the party and the election in-charge, he was not being given freedom to operate.  QED had merged with the Samajwadi Party last week but the Chief Minister had thrown a spanner and forced the party leadership to set aside the merger with mafia don-turned-politician Muktar Ansari's party.