Amid Samajwadi Party leaders making eleventh hour efforts to restore peace in the ruling party, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav will meet with his faction of the party, including lawmakers (MLAs, MLCs, MPs), candidates and top office-bearers, on Thursday morning, a day after poll dates were announced by the Election Commission.
With the father-son tussle splitting the party just ahead of the crucial assembly elections, it appears both factions of the SP will go to polls.
Senior leaders, led by Azam Khan, have been attempting to patch things between party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh, but have failed to make any headway so far.
Hours before the Election Commission announced the polls schedule, the urgency to broker peace appeared palpable so that the vertical split in the party does not create confusion among voters as to which was the real SP.
Adding to the turmoil is the fact that both factions have staked claim to the party’s symbol – cycle – saying they were the real Samajwadi Party. Election Commissioner chief Nasim Zaidi said he was examining the claims.
“The Commission, as per the symbol order, while keeping in mind precedents and set principles followed till now, will examine the documents before us and will take appropriate decision at the right time,” Zaidi said.
Meanwhile, the Akhilesh- appointed state party president, Naresh Uttam, revoked the changes made in four district units by Shivpal Yadav, the state president of the original party. There are at least 195 candidates in Shivpal’s list who are in Akhilesh’s camp.