SP factions keep fingers crossed

Battle for 'cycle': Rival sides to chalk out strategy after EC ruling

SP factions keep fingers crossed

The rival factions in the Samajwadi Party (SP) are eagerly awaiting the Election Commission’s ruling on the party symbol and have decided to chalk out future strategy later.

While party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav were camping in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav stayed put in the state capital and held meetings with his supporters.

SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav would be representing Akhilesh before the commission during the hearing on Friday.

In case the ‘cycle’ symbol is frozen, a source said the SP faction led by Mulayam may opt for the Lok Dal’s symbol. Mulayam was associated with the Lok Dal in the past.

Mulayam held a meeting with Lok Dal president Sunil Singh in Delhi and the issue came up for discussion. Singh also offered the post of Lok Dal president to Mulayam, another source said.

The Lok Dal is virtually of no consequence and only has the legacy of former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.

The Akhilesh camp is also preparing to contest on a different symbol. The chief minister’s supporters had earlier made it clear that symbol did not matter to them.

Some SP leaders, especially the old-timers, however, are still nurturing hopes of resolution of the crisis. “There is hope...we are certain that the party will not split,” said Arvind Shukla, who has been with the SP for the past 20 years.

Shukla has embarked on an indefinite fast in front of the SP office here to “force” the two camps to unite. “Mulayam is our leader and Akhilesh is our chief minister,” he said.

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