Mulayam, Akhilesh stick to their guns as SP truce talks fail

Lucknow, Jan 7 (IANS) Attempts for a peace deal between warring factions in the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) of Uttar Pradesh have come to a naught as both sides on Saturday signalled that chances of any truce were now almost over.

According to party sources, both factions — led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav — will now be contesting the forthcoming state assembly polls on different party symbols, irrespective of who gets the official symbol of the party, the cycle.

On Saturday, senior SP leaders including Shivpal Singh Yadav, Azam Khan, Om Prakash Singh and Narad Rai met SP chief Mulayam Singh and held discussions on the possible way out.

It was not to be so and by evening it emerged that the chances of a rapprochement were over, the sources said.

The sources privy to the discussions told IANS that while both Shivpal and Mulayam Singh’s aide Amar Singh had told the party chief that they were “ready to be the sacrificial lambs” if it brought the father-son together, the truce offer was turned down by Mulayam himself.

Mulayam Singh, the sources said, stressed on his demand that Akhilesh Yadav step down as the national chief, after which his demand of a larger say in ticket distribution will be considered.

The Akhilesh camp has declined the offer. The Chief Minister wanted a “three-month free hand to win the polls” and then sit for his father.

Meanwhile, Mulayam Singh has once again written to the Election Commission claiming the cycle symbol and has sent some documents along with relevant parts of the constitution of the party to buttress his case.

In a related development, Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, who is mentoring the Akhilesh Yadav camp, has sent sworn affidavits of some 5,761 party leaders, including MLAs and MPs, to the poll panel. A copy of the same was sent to Mulayam Singh’s residence in Delhi but the staff there refused to accept it, the sources said.

Late evening Amar Singh left for New Delhi and Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav are set to join him on Sunday as they prepare to put up their case before the poll panel on Monday, the deadline set for views from both factions before it takes a call on the claim over the party symbol.

The symbol being frozen by the Election Commission is also a likelihood.

–IANS

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