Lucknow: Gearing up for a show of strength, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday left for Delhi to furnish details of support to the EC for retaining the 'cycle' symbol while the faction led by his son Akhilesh met loyalists here to collect signed affidavits to be presented to the poll body.
While sources in the Mulayam camp said the party supreme was armed with signed affidavits of MLAs, MLCs and MPs which he would furnish to the EC, the number of the signed affidavits with him was not immediately clear.
Mulayam was accompanied by Shivpal Yadav, who was "removed" from the post of state SP chief at the party's disputed national convention where Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was crowned as SP President replacing his father.
As Mulayam and Shivpal left for the national capital, Akhilesh met his loyalists at his 5-Kalidas Marg residence to collect their signed affidavits to be presented before the EC in a day or two to claim the party symbol, party sources said.
Giv ing ample indications that he was not in a mood to climbdown, a defiant Akhilesh said today, "We are going for polls... Will return again."
The Election Commission has initiated the process for the two warring factions of the Samajwadi Party - one led by Mulayam and the other by Akhilesh - to prove their majority for getting the party symbol. In the 404-member UP Assembly, SP has 229 MLAs.
The EC has asked both factions to show strength of MLAs, MPs and MLCs supporting them through signed affidavits.
Sources in the Akhilesh camp claimed that some 100 legislators had already submitted their signed affidavits and more were in the pipeline.
At the "national convention" of SP convened by Ramgopal Yadav on Jaunary 1, over 200 of the 229 MLAs had turned up besides a large number of MLCs and MPs and senior party leaders and office bearers.
SP MP Naresh Agarwal, who is close to the chief minister, claimed that majority of the party MLAs, MLCs and MPs were with Akhilesh....