Another Patch-Up Bid As Akhilesh Meets Mulayam, Ram Gopal Meets EC  

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Update: Soon after the phone call, the CM reached his father’s residence in Lucknow to meet him.

Lucknow: In a possible bid to unite the warring factions in the Samajwadi Party (SP), party leader Azam Khan on Tuesday mediated a phone conversation between Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

According to  reports, the conversation came even as Akhilesh Yadav’s mentor and uncle, Ram Gopal Yadav, met the Election Commission at 11:30 am to stake claim to the party symbol.

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Meanwhile, the Akhilesh Yadav camp in the Samajwadi Party on Monday claimed that it has the support of 90 per cent of the party’s members.

According to a report in the Indian Express, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh’s supporters in the party also claimed that they are not unduly worried about the prospect of the EC freezing the party’s cycle symbol. Party general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav is scheduled to visit the Election Commission Tuesday to submit Akhilesh’s claim as the new national president of the party.

MLC Rajpal Kashyap said that over 90 per cent of the delegates put their signatures on the proposals taken up at the national convention called by Ram Gopal Yadav, including on Akhilesh’s appointment as the party chief.

“There was a rush among party leaders to put their signatures. Most of the MLAs, MPs, zila panchayat chairpersons did so,” he was quoted as saying.

“We will keep the cycle as our symbol. But let it be known that Akhilesh himself is the symbol of the election,” he added.

Akhilesh is keen to avoid further confrontation, now that the party leadership is in his hands, said the report.

16 of the 20 Congress MLAs in the state spoke in favour of a pre-poll pact with the SP under the Chief Minister on Monday, breaking with the party leadership which has ruled out such an alliance. The MLAs claimed that Akhilesh is popular, has a clean image and secular credentials.

As many as ten MLAs said the party should enter into an alliance with Akhilesh.

Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was ousted as the party chief at his son’s convention and made a ‘mentor’, rushed to Delhi on Monday to meet Election Commission officials and stake claim to the ‘cycle’ symbol of the party for the upcoming elections. He also postponed a national convention called by him which was to be held on January 5.