The Election Commission of India alloted the Samajwadi Party’s ‘bicycle’ poll symbol to the faction led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The 43-year-old has been facing off with his father Mulayam Singh Yadav for control of the party.
Both sides filed competing claims with the Election Commission to use it as their own. The decision in Akhilesh Yadav's favour suggests that his faction of the Samajwadi Party has been recognised as the real thing.
The EC's decision comes as a huge blow to the Mulayam Singh Yadav led faction ahead of the impending state assembly polls.
The three-member EC, headed by Nasim Zaidi, had reserved its judgement after hearing both sides on January 13. Today, the EC ruled in favour of Akhilesh.
The dispute over the party symbol arose following election of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav as the SP national president at a national convention on January 1.
The decision comes just a day before filing of nominations begins for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
As a contingency, both factions are believed to had zeroed in on alternate symbols in case the 'cycle' is frozen. While the Akhilesh faction is understood to have zeroed in on 'motorcycle', the Mulayam side is believed to be considering Lok Dal's symbol of 'farmer with a plough'.
The state goes to the polls in seven phases starting on February 11. The SP is up against the BJP, Congress and regional rival Bahujan Samaj Party to win India’s most populous state.