In August 1995, there was another 'cycle war' just like the one we are getting to see in the Samajwadi Party today. That year, it was the Telugu Desam Party which fought over the party symbol, 'cycle.' The fight was between N T Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu for the chief minister's chair.
After a long hearing which lasted almost six months, the Election Commission of India then headed by T N Sheshan ruled in favour of Naidu. After hearing both sides and taking into consideration all representations, the rule of majority was applied before the Cycle symbol was allotted in favour of Naidu.
On Monday, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav met with the officials in the ECI and staked a claim of the symbol. The ECI has not yet got any counter claim as yet from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav faction.
When the TDP fought over the Cycle:
In 1995 a majority group led by Naidu, the current chief minister of Andhra Pradesh revolted against the founder of the TDP, N T Rama Rao. The Naidu faction removed him from the post of party president and also chief minister. NTR then wrote to the governor saying he wanted to shut down the party and he could do so in the capacity of a party president.
However, Naidu met with his supporters and convened a general body meet at the Basant Talkies and passed a resolution removing NTR from the post of party president. Naidu was elected in his place. When NTR met with the governor, he was told that he was no longer the party president and hence could take a decision on winding up the party.
NTR then staked a claim over the party symbol. The EC heard the matter for many months before deciding in Naidu's favour. In the case of the SP, the ECI may not have that much time considering the elections in Uttar Pradesh are just round the corner. In all probability the ECI may go ahead and freeze the symbol until the matter is finally decided.