Samajwadi party tussle: Election Commission takes up the case
Lucknow: The Election Commission has taken note of the division in the Samajwadi Party and formally asked the two warring groups to file affidavits regarding support enjoyed by each one of them with documentary evidences. The electoral body has acted quickly, may be because of announcement of polls in the state, and made this demand just a couple of days after meeting leaders of the two factions.
While the old party leader and founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had met the Commission officials on last Monday, his cousin and party general secretary, Ram Gopal Yadav, called on them the next day. Both the groups had submitted letters and documents in support of their claims but not on stamped papers. The affidavits have to be given by Monday next.
Of the two, the group led by Akhilesh Yadav, state chief minister, has submitted lists of assembly, parliament and legislative council members supporting him which bear their signatures. The appeal for the other faction for recognising as the " real Samajwadi Party" , on the other hand, has been largely made on the emotional ground that it was Mulayam who had founded and nurtured the party.
The Akhilesh faction letter has explained the circumstances which led to the calling of special convention and removal of Mulayam as the party chief. It has quoted relevant sections of the party constitution in support of the claim and said that it has followed the party constitution in letter and spirit and not violated any rules.
Denying the charge of illegality, the letter said the convention was called only because the then president of the party did not concede the demand of the national executive to call a meeting. It also accused him of releasing list of party candidates for assembly election without calling a meeting of the parliamentary board as mandated by the party constitution.
" The then national vice-president and the applicant ( Ram Gopal) also met the national president and requested him many times to call the central parliamentary board meeting but he did not agree", the letter charged adding that the demand of over 3400 delegates to convene a special convention to discuss all these issues were ignored too.
The group, therefore, was left with no alternative but to call it without his consent where a resolution to elect Akhilesh as new president was passed unanimously by a voice vote.
The letter claimed that 195 out of the total 229 MLAs, 48 out of 68 MLCs, four out of five Lok Sabha members and 11 out of 19 Rajya Sabha members had backed the move in addition to over 500 delegates present at the convention.
These claims and counter claims will be examined by the Commission before reaching a decision. The process is time taking and a conclusion may not be reached before the upcoming assembly election In that case, the legal eagles say, the agency will allot separate symbols to the two groups and freeze the cycle party symbol till the case is decided. It will be allotted later to the faction which the Commission finds " genuine".
There are several free symbols which they could choose from. Alternatively, they may suggest some other symbols which may be considered by the Election Commission.