The delay in the decision over the allotment of the “cycle” to the Samajwadi Party by Election Commission of India has created confusion among party workers as well as electorates of Uttar Pradesh, one of the politically sensitive states in the country.
The dates for UP Assembly elections along with four other states were announced on January 4 and both the warring factions, led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh, had submitted their supporting documents to claim the cycle symbol before January 9, the last date of submission fixed by the poll panel.
According to sources, the EC has reserved its order on the dispute within the SP over the choice of ‘cycle’ as the election symbol after hearing arguments of both the warring factions for close to five hours on Friday to discuss the claims made by the two factions.
“Given that some important festivals are round the corner, the poll panel has taken some time to reach a final decision. The EC is also in a fix to take a final call despite the fact that the poll symbol can be frozen in case there is a dispute over ‘ownership’ of the party as it had happened in case of Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) in 2012,” the source added.
Notably, in 2012, the EC had then frozen the party’s symbol and had granted interim recognition to the two factions as state parties. The two groups were allowed to choose party names similar to the UKD with separate suffixes. The names had to be different from other recognised parties in the country.
According to sources, the commission is expected to pass an interim order before the notification of polls in Uttar Pradesh on January 17. Elections will be held in seven phases in the state starting February 11 and votes will be counted on March 11.
It’s pertinent to mention here that the Akhilesh faction, which is represented by party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, had submitted affidavits of 4,716 delegates out of a total of 5,731, indicating overwhelming support for the Chief Minister while the Mulayam camp in its affidavit claimed that he was still the party president and the national executive meet convened by Ram Gopal was against the law.