Mulayam, Akhilesh argue case on symbol, EC reserves order
The Commission has told both the sides that a judgement will be delivered at the earliest as the process of filing nominations for the phase one of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will begin on January 17.
Appearing for Akhilesh Yadav, senior counsels Rajeev Dhavan and Kapil Sibal argued before the Commission that majority of the MPs, MLAs, MLACs and party delegates are with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
During the nearly 4.5 hours of arguments, rival cousins Mulayam Singh and Ramgopal were present. While Mulayam was accompanied by his brother Shivpal, Ramgopal was with Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal.
Citing past precedents, Election Symbol Order of 1968 and provisions of the Representation of the People Act, including Section 29A, the Akhilesh camp argued that since the numbers are stacked in favour of the CM, the symbol should go to him.
But the Mulayam camp, represented by senior advocate and former Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said since there is “no vertical split in the party such as SP (Mulayam) and SP (Akhilesh), the Commission lacks jurisdiction to allocate symbol to one of the groups.
The Mulayam camp also argued that since no resolution was passed at the convention called by Akhilesh loyalist Ramgopal Yadav on January 1 removing Mulayam as the party president and that the party is one, para 15 of the The Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 does not apply on the case.
The claim was countered by the Akhilesh camp which said in one of the letters addressed to the Commission, Mulayam loyalist Amar Singh has used the term ‘splinter group’ and that both sides are before the Commission staking claim over symbol which indicates a ‘dispute’.
“Both the sides staked claim on the election symbol. No one argued for freezing the symbol,” Dhavan later told mediapersons.
The EC may come out with an interim order if it is unable to decide on the case before January 17 as the process of filing nominations for the first phase of UP polls will begin on that day.
After the split in the party last week, the factions led by Mulayam and his son Akhilesh had approached the Commission staking claim over the party and the symbol ‘cycle’.