Ram Gopal Yadav has claimed — and is credited by many party leaders — as having written the SP constitution single-handedly.
New Delhi: The Election Commission of India’s (ECI) order awarding the cycle symbol to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav goes deep into the nearly three-month-long intra-party convulsions, which the Samajwadi Party went through before heading for a showdown in front of the poll watchdog.
The 42-page document bases its decision on the fact that a huge majority of the SP’s organisational chunk was with Akhilesh Yadav and not party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The order gives a point-by-point rebuttal of the charges brought against the Mr Akhilesh faction by the Mr Mulayam camp, including on the issue of many of the letters of support being forged.
Both the sides were represented by a battery of top lawyers, including Kapil Sibal from Mr Akhilesh’s side and former Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran from Mr Mulayam’s side.
The first representation from Ram Gopal Yadav, who fundamentally fought the case on behalf of the UP chief minister, was the submission of signed lists of “31 members of the National Executive, 5,242 party delegates, 195 MLAs of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, 48 MLCs of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, four MPs of the Lok Sabha and 11 MPs of the Rajya Sabha, who claimed to have attended the January one conventon called by Akhilesh Yadav”.
Ram Gopal Yadav has claimed — and is credited by many party leaders — as having written the SP constitution single-handedly. After the verdict, he said: “It was one of the toughest political battles fought by me ever”.
On Mr Mulayam’s assertion that Ram Gopal Yadav was expelled when he called the convention, the ECI’s order said: “As regards the alleged expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav, provisions of the party constitution were not followed…”
“However, in the case of the alleged expulsion of Ram Gopal Yadav, there was no consideration by the committee. The applicant was the National General Secretary when he convened the special national convention and he was within his legal rights and duties to convene the same”.
Apart from this, Ram Gopal Yadav had also submitted individual affidavits from 28 members of the SP national executive, 15 MPs, 205 MLAs and 56 MLCs affirming that they had requested for convening of the convention.
The ECI also took into account the fact that though the group led by Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that many of the affidavits were forged, they could not produce any signed affidavit from any of these members to the same effect. They also could not name the member whose affidavit was considered by them to be forged.
The case was decided under Section 29 A of the Representation of People Act. The commission said that after insertion of Section 29 A, there is a primacy attached to the constitution of the party, which was not the case earlier when when such cases were decided.
The ECI also took into account a letter written by Amar Singh, on behalf of Mulayam Singh Yadav, that there existed a splinter group in the party. Akhilesh Yadav’s counsel Mr Sibal seized on the letter and argued that the party had indeed split.