NEW DELHI: Who among the two feuding Samajwadi Party factions will get the cycle symbol? An Election Commission rule dating back to 1968 will come into play to decide the dispute, which will have a massive bearing on how the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be fought.
“The symbol rule” is not part of the Representation of People Act but is the binding legal framework under which the EC allots symbols for electoral contests. Under Clause 19 of the rule, it is upon the commission to decide which claimant can be allotted a symbol in the event of a split in an existing political party or any case of two groups laying claim on the same symbol.This does not mean it is purely a matter of discretion — there is a crucial quasi-legal precedent here. Post-1968, while adjudicating on such disputes, the EC has ruled in favour of the group which could prove majority."
A senior member of the EC’s legal team, speaking to Express, indicated that the group which can furnish “satisfactory” documentary proof of a majority is likely to be allotted the symbol.SPvice-president Kiranmay Nanda harped on the point of majority backing. Nanda had presided over the party convention in Lucknow on Sunday where Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was chosen as the national party president replacing his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Nanda told Express, “Netaji (Mulayam) will always remain the neta in our hearts. But the majority backs Akhilesh — 92 per cent of MLAs, four of the five members of the Yadav family, 90 per cent of the Parliamentary Board, MPs, National Executive, district-level units are with the chief minister.”
The dispute reached the EC’s door on Monday with Mulayam driving down to Nirvachan Sadan to stake a claim to the cycle symbol. Akhilesh’s camp has also sought an appointment with the EC over the symbol. His case will be heard on Tuesday.