Ramgopal Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader and advisor of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, met Election Commission officials in New Delhi on Tuesday to stake claim to the party symbol, the bicycle.
He told the Commission that since the CM has the support of 90% of the MLAs and MPs and is the party president, the faction led by him should be considered the real Samajwadi Party.
A running feud for control of Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party has brought the ruling Samajwadi Party on the verge of a split but confusion abounds on who will get to keep the party’s popular election symbol.
Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav also met election commission officials on Monday and claimed the ‘bicycle’, saying he was still the party president, hence, entitled to the symbol.
The state goes to the polls this year, and election dates could be announced any day now.
In the event of a split, experts say, the bicycle symbol goes to the faction – there is one headed by Akhilesh and another by his uncle Shivpal Yadav – that can furnish signatures of majority of office-bearers.
But if the election commission doesn’t have enough time – which is a distinct possibility -- to verify legislative majority, then the symbol could be frozen and both sides asked to pick new symbols and party names.
EC sources said the faction led by Akhilesh Yadav will submit a formal representation to the commission later on Tuesday, staking claim to the symbol and party name.
The commission will take a call after listening to both sides and evoking provisions of the People’s Representation Act, India’s election law.