The Election Commission of India will hold its first hearing on the dispute in the Samajwadi Party on Friday. The poll panel announced the date of hearing on Tuesday, a day after both factions — led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav — submitted their rebuttal to each other’s claims over control of the party.
Sources said the first hearing would help the ECI decide its future course of action before January 17, when the process of nomination for Uttar Pradesh begins.
As first reported by The Indian Express on January 5, the Election Commission had written to both factions last week asking for a show of strength among party delegates and MLAs, MPs and MLCs through “signed affidavits”. It also sought comments from both camps on each other’s representations before the poll panel.
Mulayam met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioners O P Rawat and A K Joti on Monday. He was learnt to have reiterated that Ram Gopal Yadav stands expelled from the party and that he continues to remain SP president. Later in the day, he told ANI that Akhilesh would become UP Chief Minister after the elections. Ram Gopal, on the other hand, submitted a dossier, containing signed affidavits of support for the Akhilesh faction from party delegates, MPs, MLAs and MLCs.