In a dramatic twist to the Samajawadi Party saga, family patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday announced that he would contest against his son, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in the forthcoming polls in Uttar Pradesh, reported News18.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 16, 2017
Targetting his son for playing communal politics, the former UP chief minister blamed Akhilesh for hobbnobbing with the BJP while turning the Muslim community against the party.
Mulayam Singh Yadav interacting with supporters at SP office in Lucknow — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 16, 2017
Talking about his son, Mulayam added that he had tried to talk to Akhilesh, but he chose to ignore him.
Maine 3 baar Akhilesh ko bulaya par wo ek minute ke liye hi aaye aur meri baat shuru hone se pehle hi chale gaye: Mulayam Singh Yadav
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 16, 2017
Mulayam blamed his nephew Ram Gopal Yadav for the apparent split in the party and attacked him for misguiding his son.
My son is acting on the behest of Ramgopal Yadav: Mulayam Singh Yadav — ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 16, 2017
The Azamgarh MP, while meeting his supporters in Lucknow, spoke about the ongoing case related to the party symbol in the Election Commission, adding that the he will abide by whatever the apex poll panel decides on the election symbol.
"EC decision will come at 4 pm. Tried to convince Akhilesh but he is not realising his mistake," said Mulayam in his address.
Reacting to the decision, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Juhie Singh said, "It is a tragic day, now the issue is with the Election Commission."
Another party leader, Deepak Mishra chose to apparently put his weight behind Mulayam and said, "Mulayam Singh will never allow communal power to enter Uttar Pradesh."
Another party leader and Mulayam supporter Madhukar Jaitley added that while the party partriarch tried to save the party, they have been unable to do so.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) January 16, 2017
The 'pari-war' is all set to reach its climax as the Election Commission (EC) is likely to give an interim order on the dispute in the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, with the option of freezing their symbol 'cycle' most likely to be exercised.
The three-member EC, headed by Nasim Zaidi, heard both the sides on Friday and reserved its order. The order is most likely to be delivered on Monday, a day before nominations will be filed in the first phase of election in the state which will conduct elections in seven phases.
The dispute arose following election of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav as the National President of Samajwadi party at a national convention convened by party MP Ram Gopal Yadav on 1 January.
At the same convention, incumbent President Mulayam Singh Yadav was made the patron of the party. This was contested by Mulayam, who approached the EC and conveyed that he continues to be the party president and the election symbol should remain with his faction. Mulayam's claims were contested by the other side, which had filed affidavits by various party office bearers, MPs, MLAs and district presidents to claim that the majority was with the Chief Minister's faction and that it was the group which was entitled to the symbol.
Under the Symbols' Order, the Commission heard the two sides on Friday.
Noted lawyers Kapil Sibal and Rajeev Dhawan appeared for the Akhilesh faction and strongly argued that the cycle symbol be allotted to them on the basis of having the majority in the party.
Former solicitor general Mohan Parasaran, appearing for Mulayam's side, disputed the contention that there was any split in the party and insisted that the symbol should remain with him.
In the meanwhile, the embattled Samajwadi patriarch 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's national president Sunil Singh had told reporters in Lucknow 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.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jan 16, 2017 14:50 PM