Senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Friday said 212 of the 229 MLAs in the embattled political organisation have signed an affidavit in support of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, and the document will be submitted to the Election Commission (EC) later in the day.
The affidavit was also signed by 56 of the party’s 68 MLCs, and 15 of its 24 MPs, he added.
The EC has asked the two factions of the Samajwadi Party – led by party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh – to prove the number of MLAs, MPs and MLCs supporting them through signed affidavits by January 9. This is part of the electoral body’s process of determining which faction would be allowed to retain the party’s name and its symbol – the bicycle.
Mulayam and his brother, Shivpal Yadav, came to Delhi on Thursday, but returned to Lucknow without meeting the EC. Sources said they are now holding discussions with party leader Amar Singh on the matter.
Sources said Shivpal visited Akhilesh at his residence on 5, Kalidas Marg on Friday morning. He re-emerged five minutes later, but there was no information on what transpired during their meeting.
The Samajwadi Party has been caught in a power struggle over the last few months, with warring factions headed by Mulayam and Akhilesh vying for control over the organisation. Despite reconciliatory efforts, there has been no sign of a truce between the two sides.
These developments come just ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly election, which is expected to witness a tight contest between the Samajwadi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.