Election Commission on 16 January 2017 recognised Akhilesh Yadav faction as the Samajwadi Party and permitted it to use the name of the party and its symbol Bicycle. In addition to this, the commission also rejected party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's claim to the party and the symbol.
In its order, the commission observed that the Akhilesh group enjoys overwhelming majority support both among the legislative and organisational wing of the party.
The decision of the commission is based on the individual affidavits of the members of the legislative and organisational wings, which was submitted to the commission by Ramgopal Yadav on behalf of Chief Minister's faction. The affidavits supported Akhilesh as the party leader.
On the other hand, Mulayam Singh Yadav did not file any affidavit of MPs, MLAs or any delegates except his own. Mulayam Yadav also failed to claim any support among the MPs, MLAs and MLCs and party delegates for his group. Earlier, the commission directed Mulayam Yadav to file such affidavits.
The poll body applied the test of majority supported as approved by the Supreme Court while deciding the case in favour of Akhilesh Yadav.
Earlier on 1 January 2017, Mulayam Singh Yadav was removed from the post of party president during a special national convention called by Ramgopal Yadav in Lucknow. During the same convention, Akhilesh Yadav was appointed as the party president.
After it, Mulayam Singh Yadav had challenged the Akhilesh elevation terming the convention as illegal.
Comment: The decision came few weeks before the legislative election in Uttar Pradesh, where the incumbent Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is seeking a consecutive term.