It appears that the family feud between Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav is not going to end anytime soon. After the dispute with the list of candidates, recently a new problem has arisen. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his son have challenged his father for the post of the symbol of the party “Cycle” as well as the post of party chief. He also claims support of over 200 of 229 Samajwadi Party lawmakers in Uttar Pradesh.
To stake claim to the Symbol of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav is expected to visit the Election Commission in Delhi a little after noon today.
Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle and chief aide Ram Gopal Yadav on Saturday carried six boxes of documents to the Election Commission to prove that the UP chief minister now heads the state’s ruling party. The documents show that Akhilesh has been named as party president to replace his father at a meeting of January 1, where most Samajwadi Party MLAs, other leaders and about 5,000 workers attended.
However, Mulayam, at his short press conference on Sunday, refuses to acknowledge that the party has split and he claims to be the head of it. He indicated his strategy in the absence of numbers to back him.
“I am the national president, Akhilesh Yadav is the chief minister, Shivpal Yadav is the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit,” Mulayam Singh said.
Mulayam alleges that Ram Gopal Yadav was expelled a day before by him from the Samajwadi Party when the meeting saw his son being named as party president.
Politician Amar Singh alleges that the documents handed to the Election Commission are fake and then reached out to the Chief Minister, offering to quit the party to avoid a split. Akhilesh Yadav blames Amar Singh and Shivpal Yadav for his break-up with his father. “I will step aside and Shivpal won’t contest. What more do you want?” Amar Singh said.
“The majority is with Akhilesh Yadav. The symbol will go to whoever has numbers,” Ram Gopal Yadav has said.
However, Akhilesh Yadav is said to have hinted that he is willing to contest on another symbol, but his faction wants the “cycle” and its potential partner Congress is taking more interest in retaining it. Elections will be held in seven phases in UP starting February 11, which leaves little time for either faction to popularise a new symbol with voters.
If the Election Commission is not convinced by the claim of either side, it could today freeze the “cycle” and allot new symbols to both factions.