Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh YadavIANS

Senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Saturday (January 7) submitted "seven cartons with more than 1.5 lakh pages" of affidavits to the Election Commission (EC) to prove that majority of the lawmakers of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) support Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and not his father Muayam Singh Yadav. Ram Gopal made the move on behalf of Akhilesh who showed that he is in no mood to retreat from the battle against the senior Yadav ahead of the crucial seven-phase Assembly election beginning February 11. 

The cartons contained signed affidavits of 4,716 out of 5,731 delegates indicating that majority of the party members have pledged their support to the chief minister. Both groups have been staking claim to the party symbol and the name ahead of the polls.

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"An overwhelming number of members of the party have given their support and signed affidavits in favour of Akhilesh Yadav as the chief of the Samajwadi Party. It is incumbent on the Election Commission to give the cycle symbol to Akhilesh," Ram Gopal told reporters after submitting the affidavits. He said that he received signed affidavits of more than 250 legislators besides the 4,716 delegates showing support for Akhilesh, the Hindustan Times reported.

EC asked both father and son to prove their majority support

Earlier this week, the EC had asked both Mulayam and Akhilesh to prove that they have the support of the majority of the party members to make it easier for the panel to decide on who should get the party's name and symbol. It had given them time till January 9 (Monday) to submit the proofs. The commission is likely to announce its final decision on the same day. Getting the symbol could play a key role in turning around the fortunes of either of the two warring camps ahead of the polls which are barely a month away.

Documents were also sent to Mulayam Singh's residence in Delhi but were not received. Ram Gopal said those documents would now be sent to Mulayam's Lucknow residence.