LUCKNOW: Amid talks of a possible meeting between Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Gandhi scions Rahul and Priyanka next week to formalise an alliance between the Samajwadi Party and Congress, more than 220 MLAs on Thursday signed an affidavit in favour of the CM to be produced before the Election Commission for staking claim to the bicycle symbol of the party.
However, renewed efforts to strike a truce between two warring factions of the Samajwadi Party gained momentum on Thursday with senior cabinet minister Azam Khan’s late-night talk with Akhilesh.
On the other hand, a meeting at Mulayam’s Lucknow residence in the presence of Shivpal, Amar Singh and a few dismissed ministers was held late in the night.
While over 220 SP MLAs and 60 MLCs signed an affidavit in favour of Akhilesh at a meeting of the party legislators, his father Mulayam accompanied by Shivpal Yadav rushed to Delhi in the morning to present his supporters’ details to the Election Commission for retaining the party symbol with his faction.
According to highly placed sources, Akhilesh, who is likely to meet Rahul and Priyanka next week to seal the pre-poll alliance, told the party legislators that he would form the government. A defiant Akhilesh is believed to have told the MLAs and MLCs that he had importuned his father Mulayam to bury the hatchet for the next three months so that elections could be fought peacefully on the party symbol. He was also reported to have assured Mulayam that after winning the elections, he would relinquish everything if Mulayam says so.
The Election Commission is expected to announce its decision on the symbol dispute on January 9 and hinted that the faction in command stood the chance to retain it. In case the panel seizes the bicycle symbol, then the warring factions would be given new symbols. Meanwhile, according to claims by the Mulayam camp, he had met the EC with an affidavit signed by party MLAs, MLCs and MPs.