Questioning the legality of the convention which ousted him as president and appointed his son Akhilesh in his place, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Sunday asserted he was still the party chief.
He claimed the special national convention called by his cousin Ramgopal Yadav on January 1 in Lucknow was ‘illegal’ as he as party president had already expelled him from the party on December 30.
“I am the national president of Samajwadi Party and Akhilesh Yadav is (only) the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Shivpal Yadav is still the president of Samajwadi Party’s Uttar Pradesh unit,” Mulayam, who is locked in a bitter feud with Akhilesh-Ramgopal camp for control over the party, told reporters in New Delhi.
“Ramgopal Yadav was expelled from the party for six years on 30 December, 2016. Therefore the party’s national convention called by him on 1 January, 2017 was illegal,” he asserted.
Ramgopal, who has been backing Akhilesh in the internecine fued in the party, had convened the meeting in his capacity as SP general secretary.
Mulayam is likely to visit Election Commission on Monday to stake claim over the party’s name and election symbol ‘cycle’. Tomorrow is the deadline set by the EC for both the sides to submit documents before it decides which faction has the genuine claim over the two.
On Saturday, the Akhilesh faction submitted to the EC affidavits claimed to have been signed by 90 per cent of legislators and delegates, including over 200 of the 229 MLAs backing the chief minister.