Mulayam Singh Yadav is expected to visit the Election Commission in the Capital on Monday afternoon to stake claim over the Samajwadi Party’s symbol – the cycle. He has reached Delhi along with his brother and Uttar Pradesh party chief Shivpal Yadav and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, however, has sent his uncle Ram Gopal Yadav to the poll panel to furnish evidence that their faction is the “actual” Samajwadi Party, reported IANS. The poll panel is expected to announce its verdict after hearing arguments from both factions.

Speaking to ANI at the Lucknow airport, Mulayam Singh Yadav said the party’s election symbol was “his signature”. The 77-year-old party leader also said he had never indulged in corruption or any wrongdoings. On Monday morning, Shivpal Yadav tweeted that the national executive meeting, which was to be held on January 5, has been postponed. While Shivpal Yadav did not say why the meeting was cancelled, there is speculation that Mulayam Singh Yadav and his faction were afraid of a poor turnout compared with the gathering held by Ram Gopal Yadav on Sunday.

This comes a day after Akhilesh Yadav staged a coup and was declared the SP party chief by his uncle and his supporters at a national executive meeting in Lucknow on Sunday. Akhilesh replaced the state unit chief Shivpal Yadav with his loyalist Naresh Uttam. The Uttar Pradesh chief minister had tweeted saying he was obligated to make a “tough decision”. “Sometimes to protect the ones you love, you must make the right decision. What I did today was a tough decision, but one I had to take,” he had said.

Mulayam Singh Yadav had suspended Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years on Sunday, and said the national convention held by Akhilesh Yadav was in violation of party provisions. He also warned the party workers against attending the convention and threatened to penalise them if they did.

On December 29, unhappy with the list released by his father for the upcoming Assembly elections, Akhilesh Yadav had released his own list of 235 candidates. Following this, Mulayam Singh Yadav expelled Akhilesh Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav from the party. However, a day later he revoked the suspension as the chief minister’s supporters held demonstrations in various parts of the state.