No truce in Samajwadi Party despite Mulayam-Akhilesh meet (Roundup)

Lucknow/New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Hopes of truce after days of crisis in the warring Samajwadi Party remained grim on Tuesday despite a last minute effort to broker peace between the factions led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav amid a battle over the party’s symbol, the cycle.

On his return from New Delhi, a day after he claimed his right over the party before the Election Commission, SP chief Mulayam Singh was closeted with his son at his residence for more than three hours.

Party veterans had hoped that the two sides would shake hands, two days after the son dethroned his father as the President of the ruling party in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

But they stuck to their guns, a party source told IANS in Lucknow.

In middle of the meeting, Mulayam Singh called his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and the meeting concluded without making much headway, the source said.

The source said conditions for the “peace deal” deliberated upon by the first family were the return of Mulayam Singh as the party chief but with a new nomenclature – founder President.

Akhilesh Yadav would, however, hold sway over the decision making process of ticket distribution for the assembly polls due this year.

It was also proposed that Shivpal Yadav, one of the nagging problems between the father and son, would be given a “larger role” nationally.

Akhilesh Yadav reportedly stuck to his non-negotiable demands.

Mulayam Singh was not ready for the “package” and soon it became evident that hopes of peace had dashed.

Earlier, state Urban Development Minister Azam Khan went to Delhi to meet Mulayam Singh but was snubbed as the Yadav chiefian left for Lucknow in a chartered plane.

Ram Gopal Yadav, who has stood firmly behind the Chief Minister and is considered the mentor of the Akhilesh camp, also made it clear that chances of rapprochement were very dim.

He said not much importance should be attached to the Mulayam-Akhilesh meetings.

In Delhi, Ram Gopal Yadav told reporters that Akhilesh Yadav commanded most of the Samajwadi lawmakers’ support and that they deserved to get the party election symbol.

“We told the Election Commission that most party MPs, MLAs and MLCs are with Akhilesh. So the party led by him is the real Samajwadi Party and it should get the party symbol.”

Meanwhile, former Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon told IANS: “The EC will take a view on the evidence produced and both the parties will be given a hearing.

“After that, the EC will take a final decision on allotting the symbol… It is likely one of the factions will loose the symbol, it can be frozen and they will be asked to choose fresh symbols.”

–IANS

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