The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 10 , 2017

Akhilesh meets Mulayam; EC to hear on Jan 13 tussle over cycle symbol for elections

Lucknow, Jan. 10 (PTI): Differences persisted on Tuesday over key issues in the ruling Samjawadi Party, notwithstanding a meeting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had with his father and party chief Mulayam, who had yielded ground on Monday to declare that his son will be the chief minister if the party wins in the Assembly elections.  

There was no official word from either side as to what transpired at the 90-minute meeting between the warring father and son camps at Mulayam's bungalow.

The Election Commission, meanwhile, said it will hear on January 13, the claims the rival camps to the SP’s cycle symbol for the assembly elections set to be held from February 11.

There were expectations of reconciliation as Akhilesh's warring uncle Shivpal and Amar Singh, often described as an outsider by the CM's camp, were kept out of today's confabulations. However, party insiders said the long meeting ended without finding any common ground.

The main bone of contention was the post of party president, Akhilesh had snatched from his father at a party meeting here on January 1.  

Mulayam asserts he is still party president and wants Akhilesh to give up his claim. But, the chief minister, who claims the backing of a majority of leaders and lawmakers in the party, is in no mood to give it up.  

He is adamant that he will hold the post for three months and will relinquish it once the UP elections are over, SP leaders said.  

Akhilesh has dug in his heels as he does not trust his father's closest aides - Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh - and wants that they be kept away from crucial decision-making during this period, they said.  

Akhilesh has been demanding removal of Shivpal from the post of the SP's UP chief and sacking of Amar Singh. But, both his demands have not been entertained by Mulayam.

Meanwhile, the two SP factions led by Mulayam and Akhilesh, which have staked claim over the party and its election symbol 'cycle' ahead of Assembly elections, will be heard by Election Commission on January 13, the poll panel said.   

(This report was updated at 8pm.)

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