Samajwadi Party drama just won't end: Akhilesh to meet Mulayam for possible patch-up?

There is no end to the ongoing drama in Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party. While former general secretary of the party Ram Gopal Yadav met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi to stake claim on the Samajwadi Party's election symbol 'cycle', reports said that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is reaching out to party patriarch and former party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for a possible truce.

Ram Gopal, reported IANS, is expected to present the videos of the party's convention on Sunday to prove that the decision to announce Akhilesh as its new National Working President was approved by most party workers.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Reuters

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Reuters

On Monday, flanked by his trusted advisor and younger brother Shivpal Yadav, Mulayam met with the Election Commission to claim the cycle. "We have informed the Election Commission that 90 percent of MLAs are supporting Akhilesh and hence party, led by him, must be considered as the Samajwadi Party," Ram Gopal told the press on Tuesday. Naresh Agarwal accompanied by Ram Gopal.

Meanwhile, sources told news agency ANI that its most probable that the symbol would go to Mulayam "only party president can call convention and not disqualified members." "Akhilesh and Ram Gopal's disqualification was never taken back on papers. Revoking their disqualification was conditional and it ws decided that they won't conduct the convention on Sunday. Only then the disqualification can be cancelled but they went ahead and hence disqualification wasn't revoked," sources told ANI.

According to constitutional experts, in all likelihood, the poll panel could freeze the party symbol and allot new symbols to both the factions to contest the assembly elections scheduled this year. This might come as a blow to both sides as the symbol "cycle" is a well established brand. At a convention held in Lucknow on Sunday, Akhilesh annointed himself the Samajwadi Party President and said Mulayam would remain a "Marg Darshak".

The Akhilesh camp also named a new state unit chief in place of Shivpal Yadav and sacked Amar Singh, whom the Uttar Pradesh chief minister has repeatedly dubbed a "dalal". The open rebellion prompted Mulayam to again sack Ram Gopal Yadav from the Samajwadi Party. Both Ram Gopal and Akhilesh had been sacked on Friday too but were taken back a day later.

Azam Khan tries to broker peace

Amid the ongoing stalemate and a possible cleaving of the ruling party, Azam Khan on Tuesday tried to broker a truce between the father and the son. "Anything is possible," Azam Khan said when asked about any possibility of rapprochement between the two warring factions. "I have a limit and I should think how much I can go within that limit. Yahan wafaa... bewafai ki baat nahi hai (It's not about trust)," Azam said in New Delhi.  A bitter critic of Mulayam's close aide Amar Singh, Khan is seen as the party's Muslims face and has maintained a neutral profile in public during the ongoing feud.

The truce process started with a phone call between the father and son after which Mulayam was flown back to Lucknow where he met Akhilesh, according to a report in NDTV. The duo was joined by Shivpal two hours later, however, no word has come out on the possible outcomes of the meeting.

Even if the Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll dates are announced it will not mean that all doors on their unity are closed, he said. Asked if the fight will adversely impact Muslim voters, a durable support base of the party, he said they would never want the SP government to go and will work to prevent the BJP from coming to power.

"There are upset and worried but there is still time left," he said. To questions about removal of Mulayam by the rival faction, Khan claimed he was not informed much about the recent developments.

With inputs from agencies

Published Date: Jan 03, 2017 13:57 PM | Updated Date: Jan 03, 2017 16:44 PM

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