While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav are now laying claims over the party’s symbol of ‘cycle’, it is reported that Akhilesh has a “Plan B” in place in case the family feud prevents him from fielding candidates in the coming Assembly polls on cycle symbol.
According to a Times of India report, in case the SP’s symbol is frozen by the Election Commission, the Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) (SJP-R) – the party of late Chandra Shekhar, who was Prime Minister for seven months in the early 1990s – could come to Akhilesh’s rescue.
The report claimed that SJP(R)’s current president, Komal Morarka, has offered Akhilesh the option of contesting the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh on the party’s “tree” symbol.
“We have heard Kamal Morarka has consulted Akhilesh Yadav. We are hopeful that the Election Commission will rule in our favour as most of the national executive members and elected representatives were present in the meeting,” a Samajwadi Party leader was quoted by Times of India as saying.
However, the option of fighting polls on the symbol of another party will destabilize the Akhilesh camp’s claim to be the real Samajwadi Party and more crucially, to the party’s cycle symbol.
The leader cited in the report claiming that Akhilesh has been in touch with Morarka, was associated with Chandra Shekhar also.
The SJP(R) was founded by Chandra Shekhar and he led the party until his death on July 8, 2007.
Kamal Morarka, who was minister in the government headed by Chandra Shekhar, is the current head of the party. Moreover, in April 2015, he was also present in the meeting of the Janata Parivar splinters at Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence in Lucknow, exploring the merger of their parties to forge a national anti-BJP front.
Another noticeable fact is that Chandra Shekhar’s son Neeraj Shekhar, a Rajya Sabha MP, is also among the trusted loyalists of Akhilesh Yadav.
On the other hand, according to the report, one of the acquaintances of Morarka claimed that the latter had not approached Akhilesh or his camp and it was only a rumour floated by a section of Akhilesh loyalists.