SP’s war moves to Delhi; Mulayam approaches EC to retain symbol
The war within the ruling Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh on Monday moved from Lucknow to Delhi where Mulayam Singh Yadav approached the Election Commission to stake claim over the ‘cycle’ symbol, hours after cancelling the January 5 party convention called by him.
Mulayam’s son Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister who deposed his father from the post of national party president, is likely to meet the full three-member Election Commission on Tuesday with the same claim. In his absence, the rival camp could be represented by Ram Gopal Yadav.
The Election Commission sources said the poll body was unlikely to intervene till it hears the other side. Mulayam reached Nirvachan Sadan here on Monday evening along with his brother Shivpal Singh, his close confidante Amar Singh and former MP Jaya Prada to put forth his stand on the feud which has virtually split the party he had founded 25 years ago.
“I am still the president of Samajwadi Party and the decision of the rival camp to appoint Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the party chief is against party’s constitution,” Mulayam told the full Election Commission. Claiming to have the backing of the SP Parliamentary Baord, he said the party symbol ‘cycle’ belongs to him as he is the party president, sources said.
Mulayam told the Commission that Ram Gopal Yadav, who had moved a resolution at an emergency convention of SP in Lucknow on Friday last anointing Akhilesh as party president, had been expelled from the party and was not authorised to take any decision regarding SP, the sources said.
Mulayam said the convention of the rival camp, which passed a resolution to anoint Akhilesh as the new party chief, passed no resolution removing him (Mulayam) from the post.
He said as per the SP’s constitution, such a decision needs the backing of the Parliamentary Board, which was absent.
Sources in the Commission said it will follow Paragraph 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 to proceed on the dispute. It gives power to the Commission “in relation to splinter groups or rival sections of a recognised political party”.
“Both the sides will have to stake claim over the symbol otherwise how would EC know that there is a dispute...we don’t go by media reports,” said an EC official.
The Commission could ask both sides to pick a new party name and symbol in the interim if the existing symbol ‘cycle’ is frozen.