Lucknow, Jan 16: Celebrations broke out in the Akhilesh Yadav faction of the Samajwadi Party (SP) here on Monday evening after the Election Commission declared the 43-year-old Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh as the rightful owner of the party symbol and name.
Hundreds of party workers took to the streets with party flags and raised slogans hailing Akhilesh Yadav and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, who mentored the faction in the power struggle within the ruling party.
"This is a great moment for us and we will go out to the elections with full confidence now and win more seats than last time to form the next government," said young party worker Anubhav Singh.
Happy at the verdict, Ram Gopal Yadav, the estranged cousin of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, said he was thankful to the poll panel for its just and timely decision and added that he was with truth and not against any person.
"This was a 'dharma yudh' like the epic Mahabharata, in which relatives were split between right and wrong," he said.
He also said the verdict was the first step towards his resolve to get Akhilesh Yadav back as the Chief Minister again.
"I had made this commitment to myself and hundreds of our supporters and I am happy that we are heading in that very direction," he said.
Ram Gopal Yadav also said that while he had no "definitive information" on any alliance with the Congress and other like-minded parties, the Akhilesh Yadav faction had all its options open.
There are talks about the Congress, Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh and some regional parties like the Peace Party coming together to take on the BJP in the state assembly polls.