Racing against time, Samajwadi Party leaders on Wednesday made eleventh-hour efforts to restore peace in the ruling party with Azam Khan taking the lead, meeting party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav separately but failed to make any headway.
The efforts were unlikely to yield any positive result as SP National General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav ruled out any chance of “patch up” and trashed reports of such a move as “rumours”.
Hours before the Election Commission announced the polls schedule for Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the urgency to broker peace appeared palpable in the faction-ridden party so that the vertical split in the organisation does not create confusion among voters as to which was the real SP.
After late night confabulations to hammer out a compromise formula came a cropper, Khan made fresh efforts this morning when he reached Mulayam’s residence. He discussed for over four hours with Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav and also met Akhilesh separately at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence.
As both the factions factions—one headed by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and the other by his son Akhilesh Yadav—staked claim to the party’s “cycle” symbol saying they were the real Samajwadi Party, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said he was examining claims of different factions of SP and will decide after taking a view based on precedents and set principles.
“The Commission, as per the symbol order, while keeping in mind precedents and set principles followed till now, will examine the documents before us and will take appropriate decision at the right time,” Zaidi said.