The Samajwadi Party’s cycle symbol was handed to the outfit’s Akhilesh Yadav faction on Monday. The Election Commission made the decision after hearing representations from both the Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s side and that of the other faction led by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

On January 7, Akhilesh Yadav had submitted affidavits to the poll monitor, saying he had the support of over 90% of SP’s members. The commission had asked both sides to file their replies to each other’s petitions staking claim on the party name and cycle symbol. Yadav has welcomed the EC’s order, calling it “just”.

“The ‘cycle’ will continue to grow,” the chief minister said on Twitter after the Election Commission pronounced its verdict.

Party leader and Akhilesh Yadav loyalist Ram Gopal Yadav said he hoped a “grand alliance” is formed between the two apparent SP factions. While Mulayam Singh Yadav had said the party would fight the polls alone, reports indicate that Akhilesh Yadav is looking to ally with the Congress for the upcoming Assembly elections.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav also congratulated Akhilesh Yadav and appealed to his father to give him blessings, ANI reported.

The Election Commission had reserved its order on the matter on January 13 after a hearing that lasted for more than four hours. The Akhilesh Yadav side had been represented by senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who had argued that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister should be given the cycle symbol because he was now the national SP president and had the support of a majority of the party MLAs. Mulayam Singh Yadav was represented by senior Supreme Court advocate Mohan Parasaran.

The feud within the Samajwadi Party escalated last month when Akhilesh Yadav released his own list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. Supporters had declared him the national SP president at a convention on January 1, but Mulayam Singh Yadav asserted his position as the SP chief later. He had expelled his cousin Ram Gopal Yadav from the party for six years after the convention.