As the Yadav versus Yadav battle reached the national capital today, the Samajwadi Party stands divided into two camps- one is the Akhilesh Yadav camp and the other one is of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.
While majority of the party MLAs and MLCs are with Akhilesh, strong leaders like Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh are on Mulayam’s side.
In a show of strength, Akhilesh was on January 1 elected as the national president of the SP after the meeting of the national convention in Lucknow. The young UP CM was elevated to the post of national president in absence of Mulayam and Shivpal by Ram Gopal Yadav.
Following the elevation, Mulayam dubbed this decision as ‘illegal’ and expelled Ram Gopal Yadav for the third time from the party. Now that the fissures are wide open the Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav factions, the SP supremo has approached the Election Commission (EC) to stake claim to the party and its symbol, the cycle.
The SP supremo was accompanied by Shivpal and Jaya Prada to the EC office. They have plead their case before the EC and now Akhilesh is expected to present his version of the case before the EC tomorrow.
The issue will now be in the hands of the EC, which will hear the versions of both factions before taking a call. With such splits and claims over a party symbol seen earlier as well, both the “constitution of the party” and the “test of majority” would play a significant role in deciding who controls SP.
Mulayam reached his Delhi residence today where Shivpal, Amar Singh and Jaya Prada were also present. The four leaders stayed there for hours and their meeting happened behind closed doors. According to sources, dicussions were made on how they will approach the EC and plead their case.
Supporters were seen outside the residence of the SP supremo, who had gathered from Etawah, Lucknow and neighbouring Ghaziabad. They did not raise any slogan against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh or Ram Gopal Yadav.
Instead, they sought unification of the two factions and urged Mulayam Singh to make Akhilesh the face of the election campaign. The supporters raised slogans like: “Jiska jalwa kayam hai, uska naam Mulayam hai” and “Netaji tum sangharsh karo, hum tumhare saath hain”.
Firoz Khan, a supporter, said the party’s national convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav was unconstitutional as it can only be called by party supremo Mulayam Singh.