UP Election 2017: Akhilesh Yadav gets ‘cycle’, EC says his group is Samajwadi Party, Mulayam to move court

Lucknow: The fight over the ‘cycle’ seems to be over. According to media reports, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday allotted the Samajwadi Party’s official electoral symbol of ‘cycle’ to the faction led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Reports suggest that Mulayam Singh Yadav is likely to move court over EC’s decision.

The decision of the three-member Election Commission, headed by Nasim Zaidi, comes after two weeks of factional war between Akhilesh and his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav over the election symbol.

The verdict comes a day ahead of the start of the filing of nominations in the seven-phased polls in the state beginning on 11 February.

“The commission hereby answers the issue by holding that the groups led by Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use its name and its reserved symbol Bicycle for the purposes of the Election symbols (Reservation and allotment) order 1968,” the EC order said.

Soon after the announcement, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted on his official Twitter page, saying, ” the cycle will keep moving ahead.”

Reacting to the verdict of the top election body, an elated Ram Gopal Yadav, uncle of Akhilesh and member of his faction, welcomed the EC’s decision. The Rajya Sabha MP also reiterated that the list of candidates for the first phases of the election will be declared in the next two or three days.

Talking about the prospects of an alliance with the Congress and the RLD, Ram Gopal added that the final decision will taken by Akhilesh. He also hinted at a “mahagathbandhhan” (grand alliance).

As news of EC order trickled in, hordes of Akhilesh loyalists broke into celebrations outside the 5-Kalidas Marg residence of the chief minister.

There were scenes of jubilation in the VIP security zone that houses the complex where Akhilesh and Mulayam live in separate bungalows.

“Our prayer has been answered. We will now work with full zeal and vigour to ensure the victory of our Akhilesh bhaiya,” said a youth SP leader outside the CM’s bungalow.

As soon as he got the news, Akhilesh went to meet his father to seek his blessings.

Interestingly, the EC announcement came hours after Akhilesh supporters put up his brand new name plate at the SP headquarters that read “Akhilesh Yadav, Party President” strategically positioned directly under his father’s nameplate which mentions Mulayam as “Party President”.