Akhilesh faction stakes claim over 'cycle'

SP feud: Ram Gopal tells poll panel 90% of party MLAs are with CM

Akhilesh faction stakes claim over 'cycle'

On behalf of the Akhilesh Yadav faction, Samajwadi Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav met the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday and staked claim over the party’s poll symbol, the ‘cycle’.

“We have conveyed to the Election Commission that 90% of the MLAs are supporting Akhilesh Yadav and hence the party led by him must be considered as (the actual) Samajwadi Party,” said Ram Gopal, brother of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The meeting was aimed at countering the claim made by Mulayam and his other brother, Shivpal, on the party’s poll symbol on Monday.

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

The party patriarch, however, was given the role of the mentor. Mulayam called the convention illegal and convened another meet on January 5. Mulayam, however, later called off the January 5 meeting. The beleaguered SP patriarch on Monday met the EC and argued that he had suspended Akhilesh and Ram Gopal from the party and hence they had no right to convene the convention on Sunday or to claim the party’s poll symbol.

Mulayam argued that since he continues to remain the SP president, only he could allot the symbol to the party’s candidates.

EC to study arguments
The EC, which is set to declare 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.

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

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