A day after the Election Commission allotted the cycle symbol to the Akhilesh Yadav faction and established him as the party president, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav accepted the EC verdict in a public declaration. He also gave a list of around 38 candidates to Akhilesh, reported The Times of India. After months of intra-party fight, Mulayam's acceptance of son's ascendance was perceived as some sort of an olive branch.
Hindustan Times reported Mulayam's list included brother Shivpal Singh Yadav’s son, Aditya, and ministers like Narad Rai and OP Singh. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister had earlier said that he would take Mulayam, describing the ties with his father and the SP founder as "unbreakable". "I will take Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) along...my relation with him is unbreakable," he said.
"I was confident that I will get cycle. Little time is left. It's a big responsibility and I will take everyone with us," he said.
"Over 90 percent candidates in both the lists are common. We will finalise the list of candidates soon," Akhilesh told reporters after his meeting his father, Mulayam.
Party sources said the list would be prepared keeping in mind the possible alliance with Congress as nomination for first phase has already started.
Dealing a severe blow to Mulayam, the Election Commission gave the 'cycle' symbol to the faction headed by Akhilesh, recognising it as Samajwadi Party, thereby giving a major boost to the chief minister ahead of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
On Tuesday, Akhilesh confirmed that that there will be an alliance between Samajwadi Party and the Congress for the UP Assembly election. A deal is likely with the Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) as well. Reports also suggest that Akhilesh had tried convincing his father to agree to an alliance with Congress, claiming that the deal could get them 300 out of the 403 seats in UP.
On the other hand, Sheila Dikshit has withdrawn as Congress' chief ministerial candidate, saying she would support the candidature of Akhilesh.
Hectic efforts are underway to hammer out such an alliance, with Congress being offered 90 to 100 seats by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, which is also trying to rope in Ajit Singh's RLD as a junior partner.
Congress General Secretary in-charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ramgopal Yadav from SP were said to be resolving some disputes over certain seats.
Uttar Pradesh has 403 Assembly constituencies where Akhilesh's party would be contesting the majority of seats and was likely to have RLD as a junior partner in western UP, which was once a stronghold of Ajit Singh. Leaders from the three parties insist that the main task
in UP is to stop the Narendra Modi-led BJP from coming to power.
In the 2015 Assembly elections in Bihar, Congress had joined hands with JD(U) and RJD to form a grand alliance, which caused a major upset for BJP-led NDA which had won 31 of the 40 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jan 18, 2017 18:50 PM