How Akhilesh Yadav rode away with the cycle symbol

Our Bureau New Delhi January 17 | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 17, 2017

SP workers celebrate the EC ruling, awarding the Akhilesh Yadav faction the ‘cycle’ symbol, in Lucknow on Tuesday   -  Rajeev Bhatt

His faction was quick to file affidavits while Mulayam insisted there was no split

The Akhilesh Yadav faction of the SP was able to convince the Election Commission that it was the rightful contender for the cycle symbol in the forthcoming Assembly polls, as it submitted signed documents to prove the backing of a majority of party members.

Akhilesh’s uncle Ram Gopal Yadav, with his affidavit of January 6, submitted individual affidavits of members of the legislative and organisational wings in support of his claim that the majority support among the members of the party was for Akhilesh’s group.

The affidavit showed that 205 members of the UP Legislative Assembly (of the total strength of 208 members) supported Akhilesh’s group while 56 of the 68 members of the UP Legislative Council too were in his favour. The Akhilesh faction also gave proof that in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha 15 of the 24 members were supporting it while 28 of the 46 National Executive Members too were rooting for Akhilesh. Besides 4,400 of the 5,731 National Convention Delegates who attended the last convention of the party held on October 8-10 2014 were also in favour of the Akhilesh faction.

The EC met both the Akhilesh and Mulayam Singh Yadav factions several times and finally fixed January 13 for an “urgent hearing”. While sending notices to both the groups on January 10, the EC again specifically directed both of them that if they had any further documents to submit, they should do so by 5 pm on January 12 along with the synopsis of their oral arguments.

In response to the EC’s directions, the Mulayam group did not file any affidavit. In all his replies, Mulayam only made the contention that there was no split in the party which needed determination under para 15 of the Symbols Order.

Vague statement

According to the 42 page order giving the party’s symbol to the Akhilesh faction, the EC also noted that in his rejoinder of January 11 Mulayam “only vaguely stated that the applicant reserves his right to file his detailed submissions in respect of genuineness of the aforesaid affidavits allegedly sworn by the deponents thereof.”

The Commission also noted that a bare perusal of the affidavits submitted by Mulayam “reveal that they contain the same contents in English so much so that the errors/mistakes which have crept in one has been carried in most of them.” “It appears that the deponents have been seemingly called upon to sign on dotted lines. Moreover, most of such deponents are not versed with English language, the affidavits allegedly sworn by them are in English,” the EC said.

Published on January 17, 2017
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