Poll panel asks Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh to prove strength
In a bid to finalize the process, the Election Commission has now initiated the process for the two contending factions of Samajwadi Party (SP) led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav to prove their majority. This comes a day after Azam Khan made last ditch effort to flag a truce between the father-son duo.
According to The Indian Express report, Commission on Wednesday evening wrote to both factions asking for a show of strength among party delegates and MLAs, MPs and MLCs through “signed affidavits.”
“The EC has given them time until January 9 to respond,” report quoted an official as saying. The poll panel moved swiftly on the SP feud as the election dates to five states, including Uttar Pradesh, were announced on Wednesday afternoon.
It is to be noted that the test of the majority has been the standard practice adopted by the EC to gauge the strength of rival groups within a political party. It was used to decide the the first split in the Congress party in 1969 and the practice has served the Commission well ever since.
However, subject to dossiers submitted by both the factions, Ram Gopal Yadav has clearly outweighed Mulayam’s faction with his detailed hundreds of pages of the submission. Ram Gopal Yadav has claimed that Akhilesh’s camp is the real Samajwadi Party and that the CM has the support of the majority of the party delegates and elected representatives to the Parliament and legislature. The dossier carries signatures of support from over 5,000 party delegates and over 90 per cent of party MLCs, MLAs and MPs.
But reportedly EC prefers affidavit. “This is the only way the EC can reliably test the majority of either side,” the official added. Whichever side can prove a majority will be allowed to keep SP’s election symbol, the cycle.
It is to remind you the family feud reached EC doorstep on Monday when Mulayam with his colleagues Amar Singh, Jaya Prada, Shivpal Singh Yadav met Election Commissioners Nasim Zaidi, O P Rawat and A K Joti claiming that Sunday’s convention, in which Akhilesh was elected as the party president, was illegal and that Ramgopal Yadav has been expelled from the party.
As a result, Ramgopal Yadav met the Commission on Tuesday morning on behalf of Akhilesh and staked claim to the party and its election symbol.
The EC can also conduct hearings on the matter which could take up to six months. In such case, it will freeze the ‘cycle’ symbol and, in an interim measure, provide ad-hoc recognition to the two rival groups under names similar to the parent party. What would happen to the party in the upcoming UP polls would be a sight to behold.