Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath has downgraded the security cover of Shivpal Singh Yadav from 'Z' to 'Y' category, days after the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) leader mended fence with his nephew, Akhilesh Yadav, and started campaigning for the Samajwadi Party candidate in Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-poll.
Shivpal was given Z security in 2018 by the Adityanath government.
"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 the 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.
According to the police, 'Y' category security comprises of a total of 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.
It was only recently that Samajwadi Party (SP) made Shivpal its star campaigner in Mainpuri where it is locked in a direct contest with BJP's Raghuraj Singh 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 in SP's bastion Mainpuri 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, BJP 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.
The counting of votes will be undertaken on December 8.