Embattled Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav today received an ‘option B’ with Lok Dal offering its symbol and national president post to him in case the SP symbol ‘cycle’ was frozen by the Election Commission.
Lok Dal national president Sunil Singh told reporters here that his party in EC’s records was a registered, unrecognised party that was formed by veteran socialist leader Charan Singh way back in 1980 and “netaji” (Mualayam) is its founder member.
“I offer Lok Dal’s symbol and national president post to ‘netaji’ and am ready to contest the polls with him,” Singh said. Lok Dal, which has the old election symbol of farmer ploughing field (khet jotta kissan), on which Charan Singh had become the chief minister of UP, wants to contest Uttar Pradesh assembly polls and has already short-listed names of 100 candidates.
“I want Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to understand that his uncle Ramgopal Yadav is working under pressure of CBI to save his son and daughter in Yadav Singh case. Bureaucrats backing him will no longer be there after polls. He should understand that ‘netaji’ is his father and his real well wisher,” he said.
“I want them (Mulayam-Akhilesh) to resolve the dispute and if it does not happen and cycle symbol goes to Akhilesh or EC freezes it, Lok Dal is with Mulayam,” he said. “I have met Mulayam Singh and offered him to contest the elections on our symbol,” he said.
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In 2012 elections, Lok Dal had contested 76 seats and but all their candidates lost in the polls.
Lok Dal’s offer came amid hectic discussions by leaders of rival camps on various options and ramifications once the poll panel gives its order. 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 Prdesh.
The state will have a seven-phase polling beginning February 11 and filing of nomination papers starts as early as Tuesday. The confusion notwithstanding, a large number of ticket seekers thronged residences of Mulayam and his defiant son Akhilesh.