Numbers seem to favour Akhilesh Yadav in Samajwadi Party

In the show of strength over the weekend, numbers were stacked in favour of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav but that may not be enough for the EC to recognise his faction to be entitled to SP’s party symbol

Photo by Ashok Dutta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Ashok Dutta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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NH Political Bureau

Numbers seem to favour Akhilesh Yadav in the tussle for the party symbol. Overwhelmingly so, in fact. Consider the following:


  1. 207 of the party’s 229 MLAs were present at the emergency session of the Samajwadi party’s national convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav in Lucknow on Sunday
  2. 15 of the party’s 24 MPs were also present and three others, including Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple, are expected to side with him
  3. Over 100 out of the 150 district presidents are said to have been present and so were more than 40 of the 67 MLCs
  4. Party’s national vice president Kiranmoy Nanda presided over the convention and claimed that the party constitution allowed him to do so in the absence of the party president


The Parliamentary Board meeting called later at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence on Sunday afternoon was attended by 12 MLAs and around 20 MLCs, though all the MLAs and MLCs are members.


In yet another indication that Akhilesh Yadav has now effective control of the party, his nominee as president of the state unit, Naresh Uttam, took over the party headquarters in Lucknow.

Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Mulayam Singh Yadav, founder of Samajwadi Party, and his brother Shivpal Yadav are unlikely to give up the battle without a fight after the public humiliation they were made to suffer on Sunday in Lucknow

WHICH FACTION WILL RIDE THE SP CYCLE INTO THE ELECTIONS?

The ousted state party president Shivpal Yadav, according to media reports, met a group of journalists over dinner at Lucknow and expressed confidence that the party symbol would stay with the rump led by him. Experts believe the Election Commission would play safe and ask the two factions to settle the dispute first in a court of law, freezing the symbol in the meanwhile.


It remains to be seen which faction is hurt the most if the symbol is frozen. But observers believe Shivpal Yadav’s satisfaction would be short-lived because Akhilesh Yadav may not be as handicapped by the loss of symbol as the Shivpal faction would like to believe. First, because the chief minister himself is recognised across the state, and also because he is still in office.


While controversial Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, who was expelled from the party at the convention called by the Akhilesh-Ram Gopal Yadav combine, is said to have rushed back to New Delhi from London, Mulayam Singh Yadav complained of toothache on Sunday night and doctors found his blood pressure to be high. He was advised rest and it was not clear if he would be in Delhi on Monday.


Amar Singh is widely seen to have acted as a bridge between Mulayam Singh Yadav and the BJP. Amar Singh last year is reported to have persuaded Mulayam Singh Yadav to attend a dinner he hosted for media mogul and BJP MP Subhash Chandra and a wedding in the family of stock broker Ketan Parikh. He has also been known to be close to Sahara chief Subrata Roy.

It remains to be seen which faction is hurt the most if the Samajwadi cycle symbol is frozen. But observers believe Shivpal Yadav’s satisfaction would be short-lived because Akhilesh Yadav may not be as handicapped by the loss of symbol as the Shivpal faction would like to believe. First, because the chief minister himself is recognised across the state, and also because he is still in office


The UP chief minister would not have expected ‘mentor’, father and founder of Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and uncle Shivpal Yadav to give up the battle without a fight after the public humiliation they were made to suffer on Sunday in Lucknow.


The fact that the Parliamentary Board meeting called by MSY ‘approved’ the expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav while making no mention of Akhilesh Yadav, has meanwhile strengthened the conspiracy theory that the father and son in this family drama are working in tandem to secure themselves at the cost of others.

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