EC reserves verdict on battle over poll symbol

Mulayam withdraws claim of being SP prez

EC reserves verdict on battle over poll symbol
The Election Commission on Friday reserved its verdict on the dispute over the Samajwadi Party’s cycle symbol.

The hearing lasted about five-and-a-half hours, during which the rival factions pleaded that the symbol should be allotted to them.

“...the counsel of Mulayam Singh argued that the symbol should be allotted to them. The Election Commission has reserved its verdict,” Kapil Sibal, counsel of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, told reporters.

Former Solicitor General Mohan Parasharan appeared on behalf of SP chief Mulayam before the commission. 

Sources claimed that during the hearing, Mulayam took a conciliatory approach towards his son and withdrew his claim of being the national president of the party.

He informed the commission that he is the “margadarshak” of the party, a position he was given during the convention that elected Akhilesh president of the party.

He is also said to have told the commission that there is no rift in the party and the internal dispute of the party will be resolved.

The statement of the senior leader is in consonance with the stand he has been taking during the last three-four days.

The final round of the battle, which unfolded at the doorstep of the Election Commission,  was without any noise from either side. One of the key players in the family feud, Amar Singh, was conspicuous by his absence.

 Mulayam was accompanied by his brother Shivpal Yadav to the poll panel office. Ram Gopal Yadav, another brother, was accompanied by senior SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agrawal. Both sides refrained from talking to the media.

Mulayam’s argument is that the convention that elected Akhilesh was illegal because it was called by Ram Gopal, who was expelled from the party two days before the convention was held.

Akhilesh countered this, saying 55% of party delegates endorsed his election, while the party constitution requires endorsement from only 40% of the delegates.

The Akhilesh camp also claimed that majority of the MPs, MLAs and party delegates are with him.

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