Mulayam and Akhilesh now fight for the party symbol

RSTV Bureau
Lucknow: SP workers representing the faction supporting UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Photo - PTI

Lucknow: SP workers representing the faction supporting UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Photo – PTI

Samajwadi Party, which is on verge of a split because of the rivalry between Mulayam Singh Yadav and his chief minister son Akhilesh Yadav, is now seeing an all-out fight for the party symbol – the cycle.

Both factions are likely to take up the matter with the Election Commission to claim control over the symbol.

“Cycle symbol is ours…no one can accuse me of wrongdoing. I have never indulged in corruption or betrayed anyone. Cycle symbol is ours,” asserted Mulayam.

On Sunday, at a party convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh was crowned as the national president of the party and Mulayam was named a party patron. The Akhilesh faction claimed that over 200 of the party’s 229 MLAs, about 30 MLCs, along with a majority of office bearers of district units were present at the meet. The convention also sacked Shivpal Yadav from the party, also removing him as the state chief of Samajwadi Party. The convention also sacked Amar Singh from the party.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and party's UP presiddent Shivpal Singh Yadav during announcement of the expulsion of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years, in Lucknow on Friday.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and party’s UP presiddent Shivpal Singh Yadav during announcement of the expulsion of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years, in Lucknow on Friday.

On the other hand, Mulayam deferred the January 5 party convention called by him. Both Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav rejected Akhilesh as the new party chief and declared the convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav as unconstitutional.

Two days ago, Mulayam had expelled his son Akhilesh and his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav from the party only to revoke the expulsion a day later.
Both camps are holding closed-door meetings to strategise their next move.

Amar Singh and Shivpal Yadav reached Delhi this morning.

Talking to reporters after returning from London, Amar said, “I was and will remain with Mulayam Singh Yadav. I was a hero but I am now ready to become a khalnayak (villain) for him.”

Yadav family feud has been on for months now. Three months ago in October, Akhilesh Yadav had removed four ministers from his cabinet including his uncle Shivpal Yadav.

With the poll dates for UP assembly elections likely to be announced as early as this week, the party has very little time to revive from the crisis.

(With inputs from PTI)