Election Commission gives Akhilesh Yadav license to ride the ‘cycle’

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission granted the disputed ‘cycle’ symbol of the Samajwadi Party to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on January 16.

The EC’s decision comes as a huge blow to Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav ahead of the impending state assembly polls .

The three-member EC, headed by Nasim Zaidi, had reserved its judgement after hearing both sides on January 13. On January 16, it ruled in favor of Akhilesh after examining documents signed by party members advocating support to the young party leader.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, counsel to Akhilesh’s faction, attested to the same.

“EC dealt with the issue at various angles. By January 9, the Akhilesh group filed all documents at various levels. But the Mulayam group did not respond to the commission’s direction and that meant they really had no evidence of their support claim,” Sibal said after the verdict.

The EC said the group led by Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use the ‘bicycle’ symbol. It also acknowledged Akhilesh Yadav as the national president of the Samajwadi Party.

Meanwhile, Amid the battle for supremacy in UP’s ruling family, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday accused chief minister Akhilesh Yadav of having a negative approach towards Muslims and said he will fight against his son if he does not heed to his advice.

The SP founder alleged that Akhilesh had a “negative approach” towards Muslims and that he was playing in the hands of Ramgopal Yadav, who was working “on directions of BJP”.

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