A day after dramatic developments, feud within the Samajwadi Party and Yadav clan is likely to reach the doorsteps of Election Commission. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was “unanimously” crowned the SP president and his warring uncle Shivpal Yadav removed as state party chief at a national convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav, where the CM’s faction claimed that over 200 of the party’s 229 MLAs, around 30 MLCs, besides majority of office bearers of district units were present. Later, Mulayam expelled Ram Gopal form the party and termed the convention as ‘illegal’. Now that the fissures are wide open the Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav factions are set to approach the Election Commission (EC) to stake claim to the party and its symbol, the cycle. According to TV reports, Mulayam may approach the EC today.
According to Indian Express report, said the issue will now be in the hands of the EC, which is likely to hear the versions of both factions before taking a call. With such splits and claims over a party symbol seen earlier as well, the sources added that both the “constitution of the party” and the “test of majority” would play a significant role in deciding who controls SP. If the EC considers SP’s constitution, several sections in it could go in favour of Mulayam. Sub-clause 2 of Section 14 of the constitution says that a special party national convention can be called by the national president by either the proposal of the national executive or through the demand of 40 per cent members of the national convention. Sub-clause 4 says that the decision of the national president would be final in case of any objection raised by the representatives — both chosen and elected — of the national convention. It adds that the “decision taken by the national president could not be challenged in any court”.
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While Section 15 of the SP constitution states that the president of the national executive would chair both national and special conventions of the party, a sub-clause of the section gives power to the party president to take action in case of indiscipline. This also cannot be challenged in court. Sources said that based on these sections of the SP constitution, the Mulayam faction would try to prove that the special national convention called by SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav on Sunday was “unauthorised”.
On the other hand, the Akhilesh faction is likely to plead for a “test of majority” before the EC, as Sunday’s convention clearly saw a huge number of leaders and workers coming out in support of the CM. Ram Gopal Yadav has already claimed that he has the signatures of all party representatives who attended Sunday’s convention. While Ram Gopal has announced that he will soon approach the EC, Mulayam and Shivpal, along with Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, are set to reach New Delhi on Monday to meet the poll body officials.
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The Indian Express report said Mulayam has already sent relevant documents and a copy of the SP constitution to the EC. He has also reportedly sent minutes of the meeting of the SP central parliamentary board — held on Sunday — in which Sunday’s national convention was termed “unconstitutional”. Further, Mulayam is likely to tell the EC that the convention had no legal sanctity and that Shivpal was still the state SP president and that he is the party’s national president. According to experts, in case the EC is not able to come to a decision as to which side should get the symbol for the elections, then it can exercise the option of freezing the SP symbol so that neither side has the advantage.