Blow to Mulayam as EC gives 'cycle' to Akhilesh

Poll panel order paves way for grand alliance in UP

Blow to Mulayam as EC gives 'cycle' to Akhilesh

The Election Commission (EC) on Monday recognised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the new supremo of the Samajwadi Party (SP).

The poll panel also granted him the right over the party’s poll symbol ‘bicycle’.
The EC rejected SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s claim, concluding that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister enjoyed “overwhelming majority support, both among the legislative and the organisational wing of the party”.

The EC’s order came as a shot in the arm for Akhilesh ahead of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, where the ruling SP is being challenged by the BJP and the BSP. Mulayam wanted the SP to go it alone in the polls, but the EC’s order has paved the way for Akhilesh to go ahead and forge the much-speculated alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal. The order was signed by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and the two other Election Commissioners, A K Joti and O P Rawat. The EC went by the Supreme Court’s 1972 order that “test of majority support” among members of the legislature and organisational wing of a party would be critical to take a call on disputes among splinter groups.

The poll panel observed that the “test of majority” clearly went in favour of the faction led by Akhilesh, which had submitted affidavits by 4,716 out of total 5,731 delegates of the SP — all endorsing the Uttar Pradesh chief minister as the new national president of the party.

The delegates supporting Akhilesh included 205 out of 228 SP members in the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, 56 out of 68 members of the legislative council, 15 out of 24 parliamentarians, 28 out of 46 national executive members and 4,400 of the total delegates who had attended the last party convention in October 2014.

The EC also noted that Mulayam had not submitted to the commission any affidavit — except his own — by any delegate of the party in support of his plea that he continued to be the party’s national president and that only he should have the right to allot the poll symbol to the candidates of the party.

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