New Delhi / lucknow: The Election Commission on Tuesday fixed January 13 as the date of hearing the Samajwadi Party factions led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav to settle the dispute over control of the party and its election symbol, ‘cycle’.
The Commission wants to settle the matter before January 17 when the process of nomination begins for the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh to be held on February 11, provided the two sides proceed accordingly. Notices are being sent to both factions for the January 13 hearing.
While the Akhilesh camp has submitted affidavits signed by SP MPs, MLAs, MLCs and delegates supporting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the other side has maintained that as per the party’s constitution, Mulayam Singh Yadav is still the party chief.
The Mulayam-led faction has also claimed the affidavits submitted by the Akhilesh camp have been forged and that the poll panel should get them verified before proceeding.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav met his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in Lucknow, sending signals of a rapprochement between the bickering factions in the ruling party.
The 90-minute one-to-one meeting at Mulayam’s residence took place against the backdrop of the SP patriarch on Monday declaring his son as the chief ministerial candidate of the party.
In signs of reconciliation, Akhilesh walked down to his father’s bungalow next door — the houses are interconnected — for the crucial meeting, the outcome of which will definitely have a bearing on SP’s electoral prospects.