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Akhilesh group submitted affidavits of all its supporters to the Election Commission while Mulayam group submitted none

By Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr

Why did Akhilesh Singh Yadav and his general secretary Ramgopal Yadav ride away with the bicycle leaving Mulayam Singh Yadav and his confidant Amar Singh behind? This is the question that is puzzling many Uttar Pradesh-watchers, where it appeared that the claims of the two groups to the Samajwadi Party (SP), founded, nurtured and brought to power by Mulayam Singh Yadav, seemed to be even, and it appeared that the Election Commission (EC) had no choice but to freeze the party’s symbol, the cycle.

But the 42-page EC order on January 16 evening showed that the Akhilesh Singh Yadav group had shown how the rivals in the party feud, Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Mulayam Singh Yadav-appointed national general secretary Amar Singh, did not play by the rule book – the party constitution – and as a consequence the commission ruled in favour of Akhilesh group.

According to the commission’s findings, as he was elected in 2014 as the party’s national president, Mulayam Singh Yadav did not convene the national executive at least once in two months as required by the party constitution. And Mulayam Singh Yadav declared the party’s candidate for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections without convening the Central Parliamentary Board (CPB), which is the forum according to the party constitution that selects the candidates for elections.

Third, Ramgopal Yadav, in his affidavit filed before the commission, contended that a petition signed by 3474 delegates was submitted to party president Mulayam Singh Yadav for calling a special national convention, but Mulayam Singh Yadav ignored it, which is again a violation of the party constitution. Ramgopal Yadav had also submitted press clippings of the media conference held on November 14, 2016 asking Mulayam Singh Yadav to hold the special national convention.

The application that Ram Gopal Yadav submitted to the commission for recognition of Akhilesh Singh Yadav as party president was signed by 31 members of the national executive, 5242 party delegates, 195 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), 48 Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs), four Members of Parliament (Lok Sabha), 11 Members of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), and the commission in its order says about them “who were claimed to have attended the said convention on January 1, 2017”.

On the special convention held on January 1, 2017, as party president Mulayam Singh Yadav did not attend, the party’s national vice president had chaired the meet as prescribed in the party constitution and elected Akhilesh Singh Yadav as president by a voice vote.

The application that Ram Gopal Yadav submitted to the commission for recognition of Akhilesh Singh Yadav as party president was signed by 31 members of the national executive, 5242 party delegates, 195 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), 48 Members of the Legislative Council (MLCs), four Members of Parliament (Lok Sabha), 11 Members of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), and the commission in its order says about them “who were claimed to have attended the said convention on January 1, 2017”.

(The Election Commission Order in the Samajwadi Party case: http://eci.nic.in/eci_main1/current/SP_16012017.pdf)

In his reply to the submission made by Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh in which it was said that Ram Gopal Yadav has been expelled and that Amar Singh has been appointed the national general secretary of the party, Ram Gopal Yadav pointed out that the procedure established in the party constitution for expelling a member was not followed, a three-member committee was not set up to look into the alleged act of indiscipline against the errant member and no report was submitted. The letter of expulsion without consulting the committee, which was set up, was issued on December 30, 2016. But it was withdrawn on December 31, 2016 and this was announced through Shivpal Yadav’s twitter handle.

Ram Gopal Yadav had also submitted affidavits of 28 members of the National Executive, 15 MPs, 205 MLAs and 56 MLCs. And 4400 individual affidavits of delegates at the National Convention held on January 1, 2017 which elected Akhilesh Singh Yadav as party president were also submitted.

Lead picture: Akhilesh Singh Yadav supporters celebrating in front of Akhilesh Singh Yadav residence in Lucknow after cycle symbol was allotted to Akhilesh Singh Yadav by Election Commission on January 17. Photo: UNI

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