Tahlka News Desk Lucknow: UP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said there is no conflict between me and my son CM Akhilesh Yadav and this they will sort out very soon. He had just met with the electon commission in Delhi to stake calm to the 'cycle' symbol of the samajwadi party that he founded 25 years ago.
Akhilesh Yadav has challenged him both for the symbol and the post of party chief and has claimed before the Election Commission the support of over 200 of 229 Samajwadi Party lawmakers in the state. The Chief Minister's team will meet the poll panel again in a while from now.
"There is no dispute between my son and I. There is some problem in the party, one person is behind this feud,I am sure that matters will be resolved," Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was accompanied by brother Shivpal and close aide Amar Singh, met poll panel officials for about an hour.
The person Mulayam Singh has blamed is his cousin and Akhilesh Yadav's chief aide Ram Gopal Yadav, who has submitted to the Election Commission six boxes of documents to prove that the UP Chief Minister now heads the state's ruling party, having been named party president in place of his father at a meeting attended by most Samajwadi Party MLAs, other leaders and about 5,000 workers on January 1.
At a short press conference on Sunday, Mulayam Singh indicated his strategy in the absence of numbers to back him he does not acknowledge that the party has split, and insists that he continues to be the boss. "I am the national president, Akhilesh Yadav is the Chief Minister, Shivpal Yadav is the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit," Mulayam Singh said, reiterating that the meeting that saw his son being named party president was illegal as it was called by Ram Gopal Yadav, expelled a day before by him from the Samajwadi Party. At Mulayam Singh's Delhi home, Ram Gopal Yadav's face has been torn out of a party poster that features the rest of the leaders including Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh.
Ram Gopal Yadav has ruled out a rapprochement. "The majority is with Akhilesh Yadav. The symbol will go to whoever has numbers," he said on Sunday.
While Akhilesh Yadav is believed to have indicated his willingness to contest on another symbol, his faction wants the "cycle" with potential partner Congress keen on him retaining it. Elections will be held in seven phases in UP starting February 11, which leaves little time for either faction to popularise a new symbol with voters.
If the Election Commission is not convinced by the claim of either side, it could today freeze the "cycle" and allot new symbols to both factions.