SP rift widens; Akhilesh seeks signatures from legislators to be submitted to EC

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Lucknow, January 5
A day after the Election Commission announced seven-phase polling schedule in Uttar Pradesh, political activities in the strife-torn Samajwadi Party picked up momentum, but there were no signs of reconciliation between the warring camps led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. Over 200 legislators – both MLAs and MLCs – including almost all the state ministers, attended a meeting at Akhilesh Yadav’s residence, proving that he has almost taken over the party after being elected on January 1 as national president in place of his father.
But some leaders were still trying their level best for a reconciliation. UP senior minister Mohammad Azam Khan also met Akhilesh Yadav at his residence and they were closetted for more than 2 hours. The details of the meeting were yet to be known.
The Akhilesh-Ram Gopal faction is also trying to take personal affidavits from senior party leaders in their favour to strengthen their claim in the ECI against the Mulayam-Shivpal-Amar Singh camp.
Sources said Akhilesh Yadav, in order to counter the candidates announced by his father in the past, can also release another list of nominees. The Chief Minister had already announced candidates for 235 seats in which around 150 candidates are same as announced by his father.
SP MLA from Kanpur, Irfan Solanki, said after coming out from the meeting, that Chief Minister has asked them to go to their constituencies and start their campaign. “We did sign on a paper giving our details,” he confirmed. Solanki, however, disclosed that the Chief Minister announced that very soon they would get ‘good news’ and the legislators presume that either it could be about the party symbol or about an amicable solution of the dispute.

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