Mulayam visits EC to stake claim on 'cycle'

Family feud: Poll panel to take call after hearing both sides

Mulayam visits EC to stake claim on 'cycle'

The feud within the first family of the Samajwadi Party (SP) reached the Election Commission (EC), as the beleaguered party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav met the poll panel on Monday to stake claim on the election symbol “bicycle”.

His son and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is leading the other faction of the SP, is also likely to stake claim on the poll symbol of the party.

Ram Gopal Yadav, SP general secretary and brother of Mulayam, is likely to meet the EC on Tuesday and stake claim on the symbol on behalf of the faction led by the chief minister.

The EC, which is set to declare the schedule of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and five other states soon, is likely to take a call on the dispute only after studying the arguments put forward by both the factions.

Sources, however, said that the fight between the SP’s rival factions over the ‘bicycle’ might prompt the poll panel to freeze the symbol and allot different symbols to both the factions for the upcoming elections.

Mulayam drove to the Election Commission’s office in New Delhi along with his brother Shivpal Yadav, close aide Amar Singh, and former MP Jaya Prada.

He held a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi and Election Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat.

The SP patriarch, according to sources, argued before the EC that he remained the president of the party and no one else should be authorised to allot the party symbol to any candidate.

Mulayam, who founded the Samajwadi Party 25 years ago, was removed from the post of the party president in a convention called by Ram Gopal in Lucknow on Sunday.  He was replaced by Akhilesh.

The party patriarch, however, was given the role of the mentor.

Mulayam called the convention “illegal” and convened another meet on January 5. He, however, later called off the proposed meeting.

Ram Gopal is likely to meet the EC at 11.30 am on Tuesday. He is also likely to argue that since Akhilesh was appointed the party president through a convention, he should be allowed to allot the party symbol to the candidates.

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