Keeping their fingers crossed over EC’s decision on ‘cycle’ symbol, leaders of rival Samajwadi Party camps on Sunday discussed various options and possibilities even as ticket seekers thronged residences of party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The EC, which reserved its order on the dispute over ‘cycle’ symbol, has kept both sides guessing with leaders of warring camps exploring various scenarios as little time is left for process of filing nominations to start for the first phase of the staggered polls in Uttar Pradesh.
The state will have a seven-phase polling beginning February 11 and filing of nomination papers starts as early as Tuesday.
While Mulayam and Akhilesh stayed put in their separate residences in Lucknow, a large number of ticket seekers accompanied by their supporters, gathered outside their bungalows in the VVIP security zone which has seen high voltage political drama ever since the family feud broke out in the Yadav clan six months back, splitting the ruling party ahead of the crucial elections.
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“Akhileshji is our face and we will seek vote on it. New symbol, if given by EC, however, be a challenge but we are prepared for all situations. We are relying on the work done by the CM in past five years and people will support us,” a highly confident SP MLC Sunil Singh Sajan, considered close to Akhilesh, told PTI.
Interestingly, the Mulayam camp, which too has declared its candidates, are confident of retaining the symbol and waiting for the EC decision before deciding its next step.
“Confusion still persists in both the SP camps as a number of candidates declared by both factions are common. We will work on it and decide our strategy once EC’s decision is out,” a senior SP leader said.
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Shivpal Yadav, who returned to Lucknow after presenting his side before the EC in Delhi, when asked at the airport said, “I hope EC will decide in favour of ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav). The situation will be clear very soon.”
SP state president Naresh Uttam, appointed by Akhilesh replacing his warring uncle Shivpal, has said, “The entire party is behind our national president Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected unanimously...we are confident of retaining the ‘cycle’ symbol.”
Uttam, who paid a courtesy visit to Mulayam yesterday on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, has said, “Father and son are very much together. We will fight under Akhilesh and ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav) will guide us. He is not only father but also our leader.”