Lucknow: As the battle for control over Samajwadi Party continued, party leader Azam Khan on Thursday met UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for a second time, even as party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav returned from Delhi without any fruitful meetings with the EC.
Mulayam held discussions with his close confidante Amar Singh here amid talks that they may approach the Election Commission with letters of support from over 50 per cent of the legislators and office bearers.
While Mulayam's close aides maintained he sought time from the Commission to put forth his stand, the poll panel firmly rejected that any appointment was sought.
Then in the evening, hours after coming to Delhi, Mulayam left for Lucknow with his brother Shivpal without approaching the Commission.
Sources in the poll watchdog said they have not received any document from the SP founder.
"In fact, his side is yet to submit the letter removing Ram Gopal Yadav as National General Secretary," an official claimed.
Seeking to retain the 'Samajwadi Party' name and its election symbol 'cycle', Mulayam and Shivpal had rushed to the national capital this morning to furnish details of support he enjoys in the embattled party to the poll panel, while his chief minister son stayed put at his official residence in Lucknow collecting signed affidavits to back his claim of majority support.
Akhilesh, who has refused to back down so far despite meeting Mulayam after being urged to do so by peace brokers like minister and SP's Muslim face Azam Khan was claimed to have secured signed affidavits of over 200 MLAs and MLCs, insiders said, pitching the battle for the contested party symbol ‘cycle’ to a whole new level.
Giving ample indications that he was not in a mood to climbdown, a defiant Akhilesh said earlier in the day, "We are going for polls... Will return again."
Fortifying his grip over Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh also appointed party heads in seven more districts, a day after announcing new chiefs for four districts.
The existing presidents of these district units were sacked with immediate effect to pave the way for new faces....