Keeping their fingers crossed over EC’s decision on ‘cycle’ symbol, leaders of rival Samajwadi Party camps on Sunday discussed various options and possibilities even as ticket seekers thronged residences of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The EC, which reserved its order on the dispute over ‘cycle’ symbol, has kept both sides guessing with leaders of warring camps exploring various scenarios as little time is left for process of filing nominations to start for the first phase of the staggered polls in Uttar Prdesh.
The state will have a seven-phase polling beginning February 11 and filing of nomination papers starts as early as Tuesday.
While Mulayam and Akhilesh stayed put in their separate residences here, a large number of ticket seekers accompanied by their supporters, gathered outside their bungalows in the VVIP security zone which has seen high voltage political drama ever since the family feud broke out in the Yadav clan six months back, splitting the ruling party ahead of the crucial elections.
“Akhileshji is our face and we will seek vote on it. New symbol, if given by EC, however, be a challenge but we are prepared for all situations. We are relying on the work done by the CM in past five years and people will support us,” a highly confident SP MLC Sunil Singh Sajan, considered close to Akhilesh, told PTI.
Interestingly, the Mulayam camp, which too has declared its candidates, are confident of retaining the symbol and waiting for the EC decision before deciding its next step.
“Confusion still persists in both the SP camps as a number of candidates declared by both factions are common. We will work on it and decide our strategy once EC’s decision is out,” a senior SP leader said.
Shivpal Yadav, who returned to Lucknow after presenting his side before the EC in Delhi, when asked at the airport said, “I hope EC will decide in favour of ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav). The situation will be clear very soon.”
SP state president Naresh Uttam, appointed by Akhilesh replacing his warring uncle Shivpal, has said, “The entire party is behind our national president Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected unanimously...we are confident of retaining the ‘cycle’ symbol.”
Uttam’s remark came against the backdrop of Mulayam surprisingly softening his stand towards his son, saying Akhilesh will be the next Chief Minister, though his statement failed to iron out the differences between the father-son duo on contentious issues like party president’s post which Akhilesh does not want to give up.
Unfazed by ongoing power tussle in the ruling party, Akhilesh is busy finetuning the poll strategy with his close aides.
Lok Dal’s ‘option B’ to Mulayam ahead of EC order on ‘cycle’
Embattled Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday received an ‘option B’ with Lok Dal offering its symbol and national president post to him in case the SP symbol ‘cycle’ was frozen by the Election Commission.
Lok Dal national president Sunil Singh told reporters here that his party in EC’s records was a registered, unrecognised party that was formed by veteran socialist leader Charan Singh way back in 1980 and “netaji” (Mualayam) is its founder member.
“I offer Lok Dal’s symbol and national president post to ‘netaji’ and am ready to contest the polls with him,” Singh said.
Lok Dal, which has the old election symbol of farmer ploughing field (khet jotta kissan), on which Charan Singh had become the chief minister of UP, wants to contest Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and has already short-listed names of 100 candidates.
“I want Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to understand that his uncle Ramgopal Yadav is working under pressure of CBI to save his son and daughter in Yadav Singh case. Bureaucrats backing him will no longer be there after polls. He should understand that ‘netaji’ is his father and his real well wisher,” he said.
“I want them (Mulayam-Akhilesh) to resolve the dispute and if it does not happen and cycle symbol goes to Akhilesh or EC freezes it, Lok Dal is with Mulayam,” he said. “I have met Mulayam Singh and offered him to contest the elections on our symbol,” he said. In 2012 elections, Lok Dal had contested 76 seats and but all their candidates lost in the polls. Lok Dal’s offer came amid hectic discussions by leaders of rival camps on various options and ramifications once the poll panel gives its order.
The EC, which reserved its order on the dispute over ‘cycle’ symbol, has kept both sides guessing with leaders of warring camps exploring
various scenarios as little time is left for process of filing nominations to start for the first phase of the staggered polls in Uttar Pradesh.