A day before the notification of polls in Uttar Pradesh on January 17, the Election Commission has decided to give cycle poll symbol to UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav-led facttion of Samajwadi Party.
The first act of UP CM Akhilesh after this victory was to visit his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and seek his blessings even as the supporters celebrated his victory outside 5KD. Later, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: 'Cycle chalti jayegi, aage badhti jayegi'.
Earlier on Friday, the election watchdog had reserved its order on the matter after a marathon hearing that lasted for over four hours.
Both factions of the Samajwadi Party headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had approached the Election Commission for control over the party's election symbol 'bicycle'.
The commission had told both the sides that a judgment will be delivered before the process of filing nominations for the phase one of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will begin on January 17.
Appearing for Akhilesh Yadav, senior counsels Rajeev Dhavan and Kapil Sibal had argued before the commission that majority of the MPs, MLAs, MLACs and party delegates are with the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
During the arguments, rival cousins Mulayam Singh and Ramgopal were present. While Mulayam was accompanied by his brother Shivpal, Ramgopal was with Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal.
Citing past precedents, Election Symbol Order of 1968 and provisions of the Representation of the People Act, including Section 29A, the Akhilesh camp had argued that since the numbers are stacked in favour of the CM, the symbol should go to him.
But the Mulayam camp, represented by senior advocate and former solicitor general Mohan Parasaran had said since there is "no vertical split in the party such as SP (Mulayam) and SP (Akhilesh), the commission lacks jurisdiction to allocate symbol to one of the groups.
With inputs from PTI
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