Amid intense slugfest for the ‘cycle’ symbol, the Akhilesh Yadav faction on Saturday submitted to the Election Commission affidavits which it claimed to have signatures of “90 per cent” of legislators and delegates, including over 200 of the 229 MLAs and 56 of 68 MLCs.
The Mulayam camp is likely to submit its set of affidavits on Monday, the deadline set by EC for both the sides to submit documents before it decides on which side to be allotted the ‘cycle’ symbol after the split in SP was formalised on January 3. The Akhilesh faction’s documents were submitted by his loyalist uncle Ramgopal in copies of seven as asked by the poll panel. He claimed that the papers number over 1.5 lakh pages and carry signatures of over 200 MLAs, 56 of the 68 MLCs, 15 of the 24 MPs and nearly 4600 of over 5000 delegates of Samajwadi Party supporting Akhilesh.
“90 per cent of the legislators and delegates are with Akhilesh Yadav, therefore, it is crystal clear that we are the real SP...we should be given the cycle symbol and considered the real SP,” he told reporters after handing over documents.
He claimed a set was sent to Mulayam Singh Yadav at his Delhi residence but he refused to acknowledge the receipt.
“Now, it will be sent to his Lucknow address,” Ramgopal said. Mulayam, on the other hand, met his younger brother Shivpal Yadav, senior party leaders Azam Khan and Ambika Chowdhury, Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey and some others at this residence. SP treasurer and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Seth also met Akhilesh as his residence. For the record, Chowdhury, while emerging from Mulayam’s residence, said, “All will be well. SP will remain one.” In Etawah, Mulayam’s brother Abhayram Yadav hailed Shivpal and blamed “stubborn Akhilesh” for the ongoing crisis within the family and party.
“Akhilesh is stubborn. Shivpal used to take him to school and take care of him,” he said when reporters asked him about the issue.