Even as Samajwadi Party factions fight it out at Election Commission staking claim on ‘cycle’ symbol, the one headed by Akhilesh Yadav is confident of not only retaining it but getting “absolute majority” in the polls on the chief minister’s development plank.
“The entire party is behind our national president Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected unanimously. We are finalising our list of candidates and it will be out soon,” said Naresh Uttam, SP state president appointed by Akhilesh replacing his warring uncle Shivpal Yadav. “We are confident of retaining the ‘cycle’ symbol,” he said.
He said SP will get “absolute majority” as the chief minister’s development agenda is well known to people and they have made up their mind to vote for him.
“Our main agenda for polls will be development. We are ahead of rival parties due to works done by our government in past five years,” he said.
On family feud and its impact on the party, Uttam 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.”
Unfazed by ongoing power tussle in the ruling party, Akhilesh is busy finetuning the poll strategy with his close aides as the date for filing of nomination for the first phase drew closer.
“Don’t get bogged in the symbol dispute. It is before EC and will get resolved,” Akhilesh has been telling party workers.
The two SP factions led by Mulayam and Akhilesh have staked claim over the party and its election symbol ‘cycle’ ahead of Assembly elections and the EC is hearing the matter.
Mulayam, in a surprise softening of stand towards his son, recently said Akhilesh will be the next Chief Minister, but his statement failed to iron out the differences between the father-son duo on contentious issues like party president’s post which Akhilesh does not want to give up.
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Taking full control of the ruling party after being crowned as its head at a disputed national convention here on January 1, Akhilesh has been going whole hog consolidating his grip over the organisation by making new appointments and releasing list of candidates for the Legislative Council polls.
The seven-phase Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will begin on February 11 and filing of nominations will start on January 17 before which the symbol dispute has to be resolved.