Poll panel keeps SP guess­ing on bi­cy­cle

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents

NEWDELHI/LUCKNOW: As­plit­inUt­tar Pradesh’srul­ing­partyap­pearedall but for­malised on Fri­day as two war­ringSa­ma­jwadiPar­ty­fac­tions re­fused to back down be­fore the elec­tion com­mis­sion, set­ting the stage­forafrac­tious­fight­i­nassem­bly polls a month away.

The poll panel heard lawyers from both sides — one led by CM Akhilesh Ya­dav and an­other by his fa­ther Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav — for four hours be­fore re­serv­ing its or­der on the cur­rent name and sym­bol, the bi­cy­cle. Sources said theEC­would­con­sult­lawyersover the week­end and pass an in­terim or­der on Mon­day. Ex­perts say the EC might freeze the SP name and sym­bol and ask both sides to pick new ones – just a day be­fore fil­ing of nom­i­na­tions be­gins on Jan­uary 17. If the poll panel de­cides to al­lot the sym­bol and name to one side, an­a­lysts favour the Akhilesh fac­tion as it is said to have the back­ing of a ma­jor­ity of party law­mak­ers.

SP’s Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav meets sup­port­ers at his home in Delhi.

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