EC allots 'Bicycle' symbol to Akhilesh
Lucknow: Dealing a severe blow to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Election Commission today gave the symbol 'Bicycle' to the faction headed by Akhilesh Yadav, recognising it as the Samajwadi Party that came as a major boost to the Chief Minister ahead of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
A mere look at the figures of supporting MLAs, MLCs and MPs, National Executive members and National Convention delegates "will evidently demonstrate that Shri Akhilesh Yadav enjoys overwhelming majority support, both among the organisational and legislative wing of the party", the EC said in its order that was reserved on Friday.
The verdict by the three-member Election Commission headed by Nasim Zaidi came on the eve of the filing of nominations when parties will have to give the requisite forms authorising use of symbol to contest the elections.
The EC had reserved the order on January 13 after hearing both the sides for over five hours.
The order set off jubilation in the Chief Minister's camp with hordes of supporters marching to his residence and breaking into celebrations, bursting fire crackers and dancing to the beat of drums.
Welcoming the decision, SP General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh's uncle and the main strategist of his group, expressed the hope that a grand secular alliance will be formed to fight the elections, an apparent reference to a tie-up with Congress and some other outfits.
"As a logical consequence of the above finding and applying the test of majority approved by the Supreme Court in the case of Sadiq Ali and consistently applied by the Commission thereafter in all cases of disputes in recognised political parties arising before it from time to time for determination in terms of para 15 of the Symbols Order, the Commission hereby answers the issue number 2 by holding that the group led by Shri Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use its name and its reserved symbol 'Bicycle' for the purposes of Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment Order, 1968)," the EC said in its 46-page order.
The Commission noted that Akhilesh's faction had filed the affidavits of 205 of the 228 MLAs, 56 out of 68 MLCs, 15 out of 24 MPs, 28 out of 46 National Executive members and 4400 out of 5731 National Convention delegates which accounted for total delegates of 4716 out of 5731.
The order said Mulayam Singh's side did not file any affidavit of MPs or MLAs or any delegates claiming allegiance to it with the SP supremo maintaining that there was no split in the party needing determination of a dispute.