Updated: January 9, 2017 9:26:49 pm
THE FACTIONAL war in the Samajwadi Party escalated on Monday with the Akhilesh Yadav camp seeking an early decision on the disputed party symbol, while Mulayam Singh Yadav asserted that he is still the party chief and has no differences with his son. In a related development, Mulayam urged Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari to derecognise his cousin, Ram Gopal Yadav, as the SP’s leader in the House, following his expulsion from the party on December 30. He also urged Ansari to shift Ram Gopal’s seat to the back benches following his expulsion.
Meanwhile, Ram Gopal approached the Election Commission and urged it to take an early decision on the disputed ‘cycle’ symbol because the nomination process for the Uttar Pradesh elections will commence from January 17. Ram Gopal was accompanied by party MPs Naresh Agarwal and Neeraj Shekhar.
Earlier in the day, Mulayam and his loyalists Amar Singh and Shivpal Singh also reached Nirvachan Sadan to meet top EC officials. Though the Mulayam camp did not submit any fresh documents, it claimed that Mulayam is still the SP chief and has legal claim over the party and its symbol.
Mulayam also told the EC that the party convention called by the Akhilesh camp on January 1 was “unconstitutional” as Ram Gopal, who convened the meet, had been expelled from the party on December 30. Mulayam contested the affidavits of party leaders submitted by the Akhilesh camp, alleging that they were forged, and asked the EC to get them verified.
He also said that while there was a resolution appointing Akhilesh as party president and another one appointing him as its mentor, there was no resolution removing him from the party chief’s post.
Speaking to the media outside his residence here, Mulayam said there were “no differences” between him and his son. In an apparent reference to Ram Gopal, Mulayam said “one person has influenced” Akhilesh, which has led to “problems in the party”. “I will sign Form A and B (relating to party affiliation and party symbol for contesting candidates). Now EC has to decide on the cycle symbol,” he said.
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