All hopes of reconciliation between rival factions of Samajwadi Party (SP) have faded away, with Mulayam Singh Yadav in a brief and chaotic media conference declaring he was the boss. A threat now looms large on the “cycle”, the symbol of the party, which may be frozen now.
Both Mulayam and his son Akhilesh Yadav had made cycle as the face of their government by giving Lucknow–India’s longest cycle track, more than 250 km in length. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, in fact wanted the state to be known for cycle tracks and Lucknow to be branded as cycling city, like Danish capital Copenhagen. “Samajwadi Party government has promoted cycling in a big way; and incidentally it is also the party symbol,” said Akhilesh said on many occasions.
In Delhi, flanked by Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh on his side, Mulayam claimed that he is the national president, and Akhilesh is Uttar Pradesh chief minister. “After being expelled from the party for six years, Ramgopal Yadav had no right to call a convention.
Earlier before arriving in New Delhi, Mulayam visited the SP headquarters at Lucknow and ensured that all rooms are securely locked. In Delhi, Mulayam held a meeting with close confidante Amar Singh, where Shivpal was also present. According to sources, Mulayam will on Monday urge the Election Commission to check the authenticity and legality of papers submitted by Ramgopal Yadav, who is also mentor of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
After 2012 assembly elections, which SP fought pushing Akhilesh’s face forward, the young chief minister’s love for cycle knew no bounds. The idea of having cycle tracks was implemented after Akhilesh travelled to Europe, especially to Amsterdam–the capital city of Netherlands, known for cycling as major mode of transport. Connecting cycling to health, Akhilesh cycled on these tracks in the city in order to encourage others. Although it is a different story that the dedicated cycling tracks have failed to attract those for whom cycle is the only mode of transport.
Today, these tracks are either being used by vendors or motorcycle riders, who used them as a short cut during traffic jams.
However, an unfazed Akhilesh got constructed similar cycle tracks in many other cities of Uttar Pradesh, such as Varanasi, Agra, Kanpur, Noida, Greater Noida, Meerut etc. Unfortunately, none of these tracks is in use anywhere in the state. The reality did not perturb Akhilesh, who took his party symbol to another level by organising a cycle rally in Lucknow, in November 2015. Along with his family, Akhilesh was present to flag off the rally, participated by a large number of people, which included any prominent faces of the city.
In another development, following intelligence inputs, Amar Singh has been accorded ‘Z’ category security cover of central paramilitary commandos by the Union government. Officials said the Union Home Ministry issued an order in this regard on Saturday night and asked the Central Industrial Security Force to take up the task with immediate effect.
(Inputs from Delhi Bureau)