Akhilesh Yadav faction gets to ride SP's 'cycle' in election

In a huge blow to Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Election Commission has decided to give the party's election symbol `cycle' to the faction led by his son, Akhilesh Yadav, thereby also acknowledging Akhilesh as the party's national president.

The EC's decision comes as a huge blow to Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav ahead of the impending state assembly polls.

The three-member EC, headed by Nasim Zaidi, had reserved its judgement after hearing both sides on 13 January. Today, it ruled in favour of Akhilesh after examining documents signed by party members advocating support to the young party leader.

The EC said the group led by Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use the 'bicycle' symbol. It also acknowledged Akhilesh Yadav as the national president of the Samajwadi Party.

Akhilesh supporter Ram Gopal Yadav hailed the EC's decision. "This is a just decision. The Election Commission will get the blessings of crores of people in Uttar Pradesh."

Ahead of the EC's decision Mulayam Singh had said he will be contesting against son Akhilesh. He also said that the chief minister has 'negative approach' towards Muslims, in a move to discourage Muslims from voting for Akhilesh.