Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav will meet the election commission on Monday with affidavits of support from legislators and party functionaries, indicating that rumblings caused by a family feud are far from over.
Having asserted himself as the party president and therefore, the rightful candidate for the SP party name and symbol, ‘the bicycle’, Singh appears unruffled by the counter claims of support for his chief minister son Akhilesh Yadav.
An embittered struggle for control over the party has pitted Mulayam Singh against Akhilesh just a month before assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
On Saturday, his cousin and Akhilesh loyalist Ramgopal Yadav had submitted documents running into 150,000 pages to the EC to prove the legislative majority of the faction led by them. Ramgopal claimed Akhilesh has the support of over 90% of the legislators.
“Ninety per cent of the legislators and delegates are with Akhilesh Yadav, therefore, it is crystal clear that we are the real SP and should be given the cycle symbol and considered the real SP,” he told reporters after handing over documents.
The senior Yadav, however dismissed the claims at a media interaction in the Capital on Sunday, reminding Ramgopal that he stands expelled from the party.
With his party colleague and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh by his side, Mulayam also maintained that his brother Shivpal Yadav continues to be the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the SP.
The war of words among the Yadav clan comes amid efforts by party leaders such as Azam Khan to broker an agreement between the two factions before the first of seven-phase polls begins on February 11.
As both sides are laying claim to the party name and symbol, the EC now has the task of deciding who will get to use the name and the cycle during the polls.
In case the poll panel is unable to verify the legislative majority of either group, it has the option of freezing the symbol and the name and asking both factions to pick a new name and symbol in the interim.