Agencies New Delhi
Both factions meet Election Commission, stake claim over ‘cycle’
Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav yesterday said there were no differences between him and his son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
After meeting Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, Mulayam Singh told reporters, in an apparent reference to his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav, that “one person” was creating problems in the party.
“There are some who have influenced my son. I had a talk with him last night and also in the morning with him over the issue. There is no dispute between my son and me.
“There is only a bit of dispute within the party, not much. Only one person is responsible for this. But that will be resolved soon,” he added.
Mulayam Singh, who is staking claim over the party symbol ‘cycle’, met Zaidi for nearly 40 minutes. He was accompanied by close aide Amar Singh and brother Shivpal Yadav.
He told the Election Commission that the convention called by the Akhilesh Yadav camp was “unconstitutional” and that the party’s symbol should remain with them.
He also said while there was a resolution appointing Akhilesh as party president and another one appointing him as its mentor; there was no resolution removing him from the party chief’s position.
On Sunday, Mulayam Singh had said he remained the party president and that Akhilesh Yadav was just the chief minister.
The comment followed the Akhilesh faction’s decision of January 1 to replace Mulayam Singh with the chief minister as the Samajwadi Party head.
Since then, both factions of the party have petitioned the Election Commission to claim its symbol ahead of assembly elections in the state.
Later yesterday, Akhilesh confidant and uncle Ram Gopal Yadav too held talks with the election watchdog.
“We came to the Election Commission to urge them to a taken a decision on the party symbol as soon as possible because nominations (for the assembly polls) will start soon (January 17),” he told reporters.
He refused a comment on Mulayam Singh’s claims that there were no differences with Akhilesh Yadav.
Ram Gopal Yadav has ruled out a rapprochement.
“The majority is with Akhilesh Yadav. The symbol will go to whoever has numbers,” he said on the weekend after submitting to the Election Commission six boxes of documents with signatures of support from more 200 of the Samajwadi Party’s 229 lawmakers.
Earlier, Devendra Upadhyay, a lawyer representing Akhilesh Yadav, said Mulayam Singh had yet again refused to accept a copy of the reply filed by Ram Gopal Yadav on the election symbol.
“The Election Commission had directed that before filing the reply with them we should provide a copy to Mulayam Singh. I tried to give him a copy but he refused,” Upadhyay said.
At Mulayam Singh’s Delhi home, Ram Gopal Yadav’s face has been torn out of a party poster that features the rest of the leaders.
While Akhilesh Yadav is believed to have indicated his willingness to contest on another symbol, his faction wants the ‘cycle’ with potential partner Congress keen on him retaining it. Elections will be held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh starting on February 11, which leaves little time for either faction to popularise a new symbol with voters.
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