The Election Commission of India on Monday alloted the Samajwadi Party’s ‘bicycle’ poll symbol to the faction led by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Celebrations erupted outside the Uttar Pradesh CM’s house on 5, Kalidasa Road late Monday after the notification came out from the Election Commission, which is seen as the biggest win by the junior Yadav in the family feud so far.
The state goes to the polls in seven phases starting February 11. The SP is up against the BJP, Congress and regional rival Bahujan Samaj Party to win the politically crucial state.
Here are latest developments in the story from New Delhi and Lucknow as they took place:
साइकिल चलती जायेगी...आगे बढ़ती जायेगी... pic.twitter.com/DjFzr2DtrK— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) January 16, 2017
8.35pm: Lawyer of Akhilesh Yadav Kapil Sibal tells ANI: Election Commission dealt with the issue from various angles. By Jan 9, the Akhilesh Yadav faction had filed all the documents at various levels. The Mulayam Singh Yadav faction did not respond to the commission’s direction, which meant they really had no evidence to support their claim. Given the overwhelming support received by the Akhilesh group, the EC gave its decision.
8.06pm: Sources say Akhilesh Yadav met his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, took his blessings.
7.52pm: Akhilesh Yadav arrives at his father Mulayam’s residence -- 4 Vikramaditya Marg-- in Lucknow.
7.43pm: The Election Commission has taken a judicious decision in record time, says Congress
7.36pm: “We are relaxed now and will go back to our constituency and campaign,” says Amit Gujjar, district youth president of SP from Saharanpur.
7.31pm: I congratulate Akhilesh Yadav. I would appeal Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) to give his blessings to Akhilesh; this is country’s election not just UP: Lalu Yadav to ANI
ये यूपी नहीं देश का चुनाव है। अब यूपी में फासीवादी व फ़िरकापरस्त ताकतों की हार पूर्णतः निश्चित। बधाई। समाजवादी पार्टी एकजुट, सब पहले जैसा।— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) January 16, 2017
अखिलेश के नेतृत्व में विकासशील,प्रगतिशील, धर्मनिरपेक्ष एवं न्यायप्रिय सरकार बननी तय।सब एकजुट है।हमसब मिलकर साम्प्रदायिक ताकतों को हरायेंगे— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) January 16, 2017
नेताजी की बनाई हुई पार्टी है। नेताजी अपना आशीर्वाद अखिलेश को देंगे। भाजपाई हाथ मलते रह गए।— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) January 16, 2017
7.28pm: “Congratulations @yadavakhilesh for getting SP symbol. You deserve it”, tweets Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
7.20pm: Celebrations outside Akhilesh Yadav’s residence after Election Commission allots his faction the right to use ‘cycle’ symbol.
7.03pm: I hope a Mahagathbandhan (Grand alliance) is formed, but Akhilesh Yadav will take the final call, says SP leader and Akhilesh’s uncle Ramgopal Yadav, who is on the CM’s side. His cousins -- SP patriarch Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav -- are in the other faction.
6.55pm: The Election Commission of India allots the Samajwadi Party’s ‘cycle’ poll symbol to the faction led by Akhilesh Yadav.
Full coverage of Yadav Family Feud