SP feud: Doubt over party symbol, Mulayam knocks on EC door to claim ‘cycle’ | india-news | Hindustan Times
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SP feud: Doubt over party symbol, Mulayam knocks on EC door to claim ‘cycle’

There is a good chance there would be no Samajwadi Party or ‘bicycle’ in the Uttar Pradesh election, expected to be called any day now. The warring factions of the Uttar Pradesh’s ruling outfit have brought their battle over the party symbol -- a bicycle -- to the election commission but it may be too late.

YadavFamilyFeud Updated: Jan 03, 2017 00:42 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav leaves the Nirvachan Sadan after meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner, in New Delhi on Monday.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav leaves the Nirvachan Sadan after meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner, in New Delhi on Monday.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

There is a good chance there would be no Samajwadi Party or ‘bicycle’ in the Uttar Pradesh election, expected to be called any day now.

The warring factions of the Uttar Pradesh’s ruling outfit have brought their battle over the party symbol -- a bicycle -- to the election commission but it may be too late.

According to experts, in event of a split, the symbol will be assigned to the faction that has the support of the majority of legislators as well as parliamentary board members. The claim has to be backed by furnishing signatures to the poll panel.

Read: Yadav family feud: Akhilesh takes control, unseats father Mulayam as SP chief

Highlights
  • According to experts, in event of a split, the bicycle symbol will be assigned to the faction that has the support of the majority of legislators as well as parliamentary board members.
  • However, if the EC doesn’t have enough time to verify legislative majority then the symbol could be frozen and both sides asked to pick new symbols and party names.
  • Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday met EC officials here and claimed the ‘bicycle’, saying he was still the party president, hence, entitled to the symbol.
  • Ramgopal Yadav, who represents chief minister Akhilesh’s faction, will plead his case on Tuesday.
  • In 1969, when the Congress party split, the old guard was allowed to retain the party symbol while Indira Gandhi chose a cow suckling a calf as the party symbol.

But if the election commission doesn’t have enough time – which is a distinct possibility in UP -- to verify legislative majority then the symbol could be frozen and both sides asked to pick new symbols and party names.

Though the split in SP is not official, competing claims have been made for the party symbol and leadership.

Patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday met EC officials here and claimed the ‘bicycle’, saying he was still the party president, hence, entitled to the symbol.

Read: History repeating itself? Mulayam followed Lohia, Akhilesh his father

Ramgopal Yadav, a senior party leader who represents chief minister Akhilesh’s faction, will plead his case on Tuesday.

Mulayam was on Sunday ousted by CM-son Akhilesh who took control of the SP at an “emergency national convention”.

In his 40-minute meeting with chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi and other panel members, the 77-year-old Mulayam said Ramgopal stood expelled and couldn’t take decisions on behalf of the party.

The election symbol is the first recognition of a political party. In a country where illiteracy is a high, a sizable chunk of voters rely on party symbols while voting. Voting machines, too, carry symbols along with candidates’ names.

There have been several occasions when a split has forced a change of name and symbol.

Read: Decision was tough, but need to protect those you love: Akhilesh Yadav

The latest instance was in December 2011 when the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, a recognised state party, split. Both factions laid claim to the symbol -- a chair -- but with elections in January, the EC didn’t have the time to verify signatures and majority claims.

It approved Uttarakhand Kranti Dal(P) as the name and a cup and saucer as the symbol for the group led by Trivender Singh Pawar. The group led by Diwakar Bhatt named itself Jantantrik Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, with a kite as its symbol.

In 1969, the Indian National Congress split into the Congress (O) led by the old guard and the Congress (R) led by former prime minister Indira Gandhi. The old guard was allowed to retain the party symbol -- a pair of bullocks with a yoke -- while Gandhi chose a cow suckling a calf as the party symbol.

The Congress’ current symbol -- hand – was picked after Gandhi parted ways from the Congress (R) in 1977 to set up New Congress (I).