EC decides Akhilesh Yadav gets Samajwadi Party name, cycle symbol

Akhilesh Yadav’s supporters burst into celebrations as the news of the Election Commission decision spread, which comes as a big boost to the UP CM days before the poll process starts in Uttar Pradesh

Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Biswajeet Banerjee

After days of family drama and ‘tu tu, main main’ which gripped people across Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has been able to snatch the Samajwadi Party name and election symbol from his father and party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, a big boost for Akhilesh days before the polling process starts in UP.

"The son has got the cycle he was asking for. This decision would be a game changer. Now Akhilesh riding on cycle, Congress and RLD would a potent weapon to match Modi magic," said Dr Namita P Kumar of Giri Institute of Development Studies.

In its interim order Election Commission said: “…A mere look at the figures given in the table in paragraph 36 will evidently demonstrate that Shri Akhilesh Yadav enjoys overwhelming majority support, both among the legislative and organizational wing of the party.

“…As a logical consequence of the above finding and applying the test of majority support approved by the Supreme Court in the case of Sadiq Ali (supra) and consistently applied by the Commission thereafter in all cases of disputes in recognized political parties arising before it from time to time.”

About the symbol issue, the Election Commission headed by Dr Nasim Zaidi said: “…The Commission hereby holds that the group led by Shri Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use its name and its reserved symbol "Bicycle" for the purposes of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

As the news spread, Samajwadi Party workers who support Akhilesh Yadav burst into celebration outside 5, Kalidas Marg in Lucknow, the official residence of the Chief Minister. “We have won half of the battle and the rest would be a cakewalk for us,” claimed Sunil Sajan, a legislator and close lieutenant of Akhilesh Yadav. “This is the judicious decision made by Election Commission and we thank them for this,” he said.

The EC’s decision came as a relief to many. “Samajwadi party and cycle are synonymous. We were nervous when people talked about EC freezing our cycle symbol. Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) had claimed that Bhaiya (Akhilesh Yadav) had applied for motorcycle as symbol but this EC decision has given a new lease to life to us,” said Rajendra Chaudhry, a minister in Akhilesh Yadav’s cabinet. “If you ask me I can shamelessly claim that I feel today as if my lost child has come back to me,” he said.

On Monday morning Samajwadi party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had said that he will contest against his son Akhilesh Yadav. "Unka kya hoga, hamara kya hogo ab chunav ayog hi faisla karega (What will happen to them, and what will be our fate will now be decided by the EC)," he said.

Mulayam, asked the party cadres that they should support any symbol given to him by the Election Commission. "Aap log mujhe jo symbol mile us par hi vote dena. I need your help. I am confident of the people’s support as I have made lots of sacrifices for the party”, said Mulayam Singh.

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