Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday rubbished reports that the party is heading towards a split and declared Akhilesh Yadav as party's chief ministerial candidate, said reports.
No question of the party splitting. The party is one and we will begin campaign shortly: Mulayam Singh Yadav pic.twitter.com/vg6l3hXcor— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) January 9, 2017
The veteran leader's statement can be seen as a strongest attempt yet to bridge the rift within the party, which has reached Election Commission's doorsteps.
Mulayam had earlier on Monday said there were no differences between him and his son Akhilesh Yadav.
After meeting Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, Mulayam Singh told the media, in an apparent reference to Ram Gopal Yadav, that "one person" was creating problems in the party.
Mulayam Singh, who is staking claim over the party symbol 'cycle', met Zaidi for nearly 40 minutes. He was accompanied by loyalists Amar Singh as well as brother Shivpal Yadav.
On Sunday, Mulayam Singh had said he remained the party President and that Akhilesh Yadav was just the Chief Minister. The comment followed the Akhilesh faction's decision of January 1 to replace Mulayam Singh with the Chief Minister as the Samajwadi Party head.
Since then, both factions of the party have petitioned the Election Commission to claim its symbol 'cycle' ahead of assembly elections in the state.