The Election Commission may freeze the Samajwadi Party’s ‘cycle’ symbol ahead of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh after the party split, former poll panel chief S Y Quraishi said yesterday.
He said neither faction may get the symbol.
“Both sides will give affidavits and evidence in support of their claims along with signatures of their supporters to prove they enjoy majority support,” Quraishi told India Today TV channel.
“These will be verified and this may take four to five months,” he added. “I don’t see this happening before the elections as both sides have strong base and the claims will be contested strongly.
“The (election) symbol will be frozen and ad-hoc names and ad-hoc symbols may be given to both sides. A final decision will come after due process in due course of time,” he added.
Meanwhile, the tussle between two the factions - led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav - to gain control of the party became bitter yesterday over the claim for its symbol.
According to sources, both factions will meet the Election Commission of India in Delhi to claim that they are the actual Samajwadi Party.
While the Akhilesh faction was sending party national general secretary-turned mentor Ram Gopal Yadav as its emissary to the poll panel, the other faction was being led by Mulayam Singh himself.
The party founder is being accompanied by loyal younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh, who returned mid-way from his New Year family vacation in London.
Before leaving from Lucknow for Delhi, Mulayam Singh told reporters the party belonged to him as he enjoyed the support of the people of India’s most populous state.
At an emergency national convention on Sunday, Akhilesh upstaged his father as the party chief and appointed himself as the working national president. He also replaced state unit chief Shivpal Yadav with his loyalist and legislative council member Naresh Uttam.
The convention, declared illegal and unconstitutional by Mulayam Singh, also expelled Amar Singh from the party.
In the night, a tense Mulayam Singh’s blood pressure was reported to have shot up and doctors were brought in for a check-up.
In Delhi, the party sources said Akhilesh will show the poll panel video recordings, papers and resolutions signed by at least 40% of party workers - the number required to call an emergency convention under the Samajwadi Party’s constitution.
The faction was also relying on Ram Gopal Yadav’s skills as a man who was instrumental in drafting the constitution of the party 25 years back.
Mulayam Singh was also depending heavily on the very same constitution and the clauses within it to put forth an argument that the national convention called in haste was in contravention to the laid down rules of the party and hence anything that happened in it was invalid.
The sources said Amar Singh was also to lining up a battery of legal eagles and constitutional experts to pitch in for the Mulayam Singh faction.
Reacting to his expulsion from the party, Amar Singh told reporters: “Once Mulayam had said that I am in his heart, not in the party. So, if Mulayam expels me from his heart then it will be saddening for me. The party does not matter to me.”
All eyes are now on the final decision of the poll panel.
Earlier, a group of Samajwadi Party activists gathered outside Mulayam Singh’s residence in New Delhi raised slogans in his support and sought unification of the party.
Around 50 supporters, most from Badaun and neighbouring Ghaziabad, gathered as Mulayam Singh sat in a meeting with Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh before going to meet the Election Commission.
The supporters, however, did not raise any slogan against Akhilesh or Ram Gopal Yadav.
Instead, they sought unification of the two factions and urged Mulayam Singh to make Akhilesh the face of the election campaign.
Arman Khan, a party worker from Ghaziabad, said he wants Mulayam Singh Yadav to take his son back into the party.
However, he added if that doesn’t happen, he “would go with Netaji (Mulayam) whatever decision he takes.”
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