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Akhilesh claims majority support

Akhilesh claims majority support

Even as the Election Commission is considering which Samajwadi Party faction should be given the “cycle” symbol, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday claimed he had the support of the majority of the SP’s legislators, who signed a document here affirming him as their leader. More than 210 of the SP’s 229 MLAs (in the 403-member Assembly) and around 60 MLCs attended a meeting convened by the CM at his official residence here in a bid to demonstrate his strength before the EC. Most of those present endorsed the affidavit supporting the CM, sources said. The document would be submitted to the EC, where Mr. Akhilesh and his father Mulayam Singh have staked claim over the party symbol. The CM assured his loyalists and party legislators that eventually the faction led by him would win the symbol. The CM also told his candidates to start campaigning in their constituencies.
‘Begin poll campaign’
A Cabinet Minister from Purvanchal who signed the affidavit said the CM instructed the legislators and candidates to “start working strongly” in their area while assuring them of a safe future. “We signed the affidavit saying that we accept him as the national president. He said we will get the symbol of the party. Even the Supreme Court has said that the faction that controls the legislature will get the symbol,” the Minister told. During the meeting, which went on for more than three hours, sources said, Mr. Akhilesh was confronted with queries by legislators anxious about the fate of the symbol and party.“The matter is in the EC. Both sides want the symbol. But you leave it to us and focus on forming our government, he told us,” said senior minister Paras Nath Yadav. MLA Irfan Solanki from Kanpur affirmed his support to the CM. “We told him, we were with you, are with you and will continue to be with you,” Mr. Solanki said.

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