No question of reconciliation as defiant Akhilesh says 'we are going for polls'

Racing against time, SP leaders made eleventh hour efforts to restore peace in the ruling party with Azam Khan taking the lead.

Lucknow: Last ditch efforts to salvage Samajwadi Party from split on Wednesday appeared to have failed despite hectic back channel moves to broker peace between warring Mulayam and Akhilesh camps, even as announcement of poll schedule saw marathon parleys between the two sides.

A defiant Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said, "We are going for polls... Will return again." Indicating that he was not too inclined towards a patch-up, he said, "Kahan nut-bolt lagana hai, kahan hathura isteymal karna hai, sahi sey karengey. (Where to tighten screw and where to use hammer, we will do it effectively)."

He was speaking at UP Pravasi Diwas here after the announcement of the election schedule.

Hours before the Election Commission announced the schedule for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the urgency to broker peace appeared palpable in the faction-ridden party so that the vertical split in the organisation does not create confusion among voters as to which was the real SP.

Racing against time, SP leaders made eleventh hour efforts to restore peace in the ruling party with Azam Khan taking the lead, meeting party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav separately but failed to make any headway.

After late night confabulations to hammer out a compromise formula came a cropper, Azam made fresh efforts this morning when he reached Mulayam's residence.

He discussed for over four hours with Mulayam and Shivpal Yadav and also met Akhilesh Yadav separately at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence.

The efforts were, however, unlikely to yield any positive result immediately as an adamant SP National General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav ruled out any chance of "patch up" and trashed reports of such a move as "rumours".

As both factions, one headed by SP patriarch Mulayam Singh and the other by his son Akhilesh staked claim to the party's "cycle" symbol saying they were the real Samajwadi Party, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said he was examining claims of different factions of SP and will decide after taking a view based on precedents and set principles.

"The Commission, as per the symbol order, while keeping in mind precedents and set principles followed till now, will examine the documents before us and will take appropriate decision at the right time," Zaidi said.

Experts said as an interim measure, the poll panel may freeze the "cycle" symbol and ask the two factions to contest on new symbols.

It may also give the two sides new name to contest the polls till the time a final decision is taken on the real "ownership" of Samajwadi Party and its symbol "cycle".

( Source : PTI )
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