January 9, 2017 9:56:55 pm
In a move signifying a possible end to the prolonged family feud once and for all, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Yadav on Monday asserted that Akhilesh Yadav is the face of the party for the next chief minister of the state, adding that the party stands united. Speaking to reporters, Mulayam stated that the SP is united and will soon set out to campaign across the state as one. “For the benefit of the entire state, our party stands united. There is no question of any division whatsoever in the party and we will begin campaigning soon. Akhilesh will be the next chief minister, there is no doubt about that,” he said.
The development can be seen as an olive branch extended towards Akhilesh’s camp by Mulayam, as both the sides had taken the fight all the way to the Election Commission’s door over the party symbol.
The ruling SP is in the middle of an intense power struggle with Mulayam and his brother Shivpal Yadav on one side and Mulayam’s son, Akhilesh, and cousin Ramgopal Yadav on the other.
In a bid to buttress claim over the ‘cycle’ symbol, Akhilesh Yadav-led camp represented by Ram Gopal had earlier on Saturday submitted an affidavit mentioning that Samajwadi Party leaders are supporting the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
Ramgopal said that the relevant documents, brought in “seven cartons with more than 1.5 lakh pages”, were submitted to the poll panel to assert Akhilesh’s right over the party’s name and symbol.
He said that he submitted affidavits of 4,716 delegates of the total 5,731, indicating overwhelming support for Akhilesh.
The Election Commission had given both sides time till January 9 to submit proof of their legislative support.
However, if the Election Commission cannot reach any decision before January 17, then the party symbol might be frozen and two different symbols would be provide to both factions for contesting the assembly elections.
The assembly elections in the most populous and politically significant state in India will be held in seven phases beginning February 11.
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