Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had a 90-minute meeting with his father and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday morning, possibly signalling a climbdown in family hostilities that has singed the party ahead of state polls.
The meeting came a day after Mulayam abruptly declared that his son would be the next chief minister of the state, seen as a ploy to isolate key Akhilesh backer Ramgopal Yadav in the party.
In Tuesday’s meeting, Mulayam assured that Akhilesh will be the CM face in Uttar Pradesh, news agency quoted ANI as saying.
The sources said Mulayam asked Akhilesh to withdraw his letter from the Election Commission and forego the claim over the party’s election symbol.
Mulayam also emphasised that he should remain the head the party and Akhilesh should focus on the administration part, ANI reported.
The state goes to the polls in seven phases starting February 11. Two factions of the party – one led by Akhilesh and another by his uncle Shivpal – have been locked in a fight for party control. Shivpal is said to have Mulayam’s backing.
Both sides are currently in front of the election commission to prove their claim as the original party and inherit the party symbol, the bicycle.
The poll panel said on Tuesday that it will hear both the factions on January 13.
Election Commission to hear both groups of Samajwadi party on Jan 13th over the party symbol issue.— ANI (@ANI_news) January 10, 2017
Matters came to a head on the New Year’s Day when Akhilesh ousted Mulayam to take over as the SP chief at an “emergency party meeting” called by Ramgopal.
On Monday, Ramgopal asked the poll panel to expedite the verification of the affidavits of support submitted by their camp so that a decision on the party symbol could be taken at the earliest.
In his letter, Mulayam told the Election Commission he was the party president, asking the poll panel to verify the authenticity of the affidavits submitted by Ramgopal.
The EC passed on Mulayam’s letter to the Akhilesh camp, seeking a response.
The EC will have to verify the claims of both sides. In case it doesn’t have the time to cross-check the claims, it can freeze the symbol as well as the name. The two factions will then have to pick new names and symbols.