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Cycle symbol row: EC asks SP factions to respond to each other's petition by January 9

The Election Commission of India on Thursday asked Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to respond by January 9 to each other’s petitions.

Sources said, the commission has asked both the factions to respond to the petitions filed before it staking claim to party and its poll symbol ‘cycle.’

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi on Tuesday said any query on freezing of the Samajwadi Party’s poll symbol ‘cycle’ is hypothetical, adding that the right decision would be taken at the appropriate time.

“The Commission has received one representation with regard to presentation of budget. We are examining it and will take call on it in due course. Taking cognizance of the symbol order and old precedents, we will examine the documents presented to us. Right decision will be taken at the right time,” Zaidi told the media here.

“Any query on freezing of the Samajwadi Party’s poll symbol is hypothetical right now. Let us first examine the documents,” he added.

With the father-son duo of Akhilesh and Mulayam refusing to give in, the ongoing political tussle in the Samajwadi Party has been witnessing twists on a daily basis.

As of now, both factions have laid claim over the party’s symbol ‘cycle’. However, the Election Commission is yet to take a call on the same.

Akhilesh’s mentor and uncle Ram Gopal Yadav earlier on Tuesday staked claim to the party’s symbol ‘cycle’ before the Election Commission while stating that 90 percent of the MLAs are backing the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

This came a day after Akhilesh’s father Mulayam staked claim to the same while asserting that the Samajwadi Party’s “election symbol is my signature”.

Amid a bitter family feud that has torn apart Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party, Mulayam earlier on Monday claimed that the symbol – with its easy and established recall – should be considered his political property.

The 77-year-old veteran visited the Election Commission’s office on Monday, accompanied by his trusted advisor and younger brother Shivpal Yadav.

At a party gathering on Sunday in Lucknow, Akhilesh was named the Samajwadi Party’s president.

He then pushed his father into retirement by declaring he would now function as patron and mentor.

Mulayam and his aides like Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh have insisted his faction is the legit Samajwadi Party. (ANI)

Ends VP/SP