Mulayam must give his blessings to Akhilesh and set out campaigning: Lalu Yadav

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Patna [India], Jan. 16 (ANI): With the Election Commission allotting the 'cycle' symbol to the Akhilesh Yadav-led faction of the Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday advised Mulayam Yadav to let bygones be bygones and give Akhilesh his blessings. Speaking to ANI here, Lalu said that the Election Commission has finally put an end to the prolonged feud in the party today with a crystal clear ruling announcing Akhilesh as the leader of the party. "I congratulate Akhilesh and appeal to Mulayam, that this is the election of the nation and not just of the state. There are many out there waiting to take advantage of the feud within the party. Don't wait a minute and give Akhilesh your blessings and head out to campaign to show there is no division," he added. Warning that the nation will not survive at the hands of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if the SP loses the polls, Lalu further advised party founder Mulayam to put an end to the feud once and for all. The Election Commission of India today entitled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav the Samajwadi Party 'cycle' symbol, giving a major shot in the arm for the Akhilesh camp ahead of the assembly polls. "The Commission hereby announces that the group led by Akhilesh Yadav is the Samajwadi Party and is entitled to use its name and its reserved symbol 'Bicycle' for the purposes of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968," the order read. Brimmed with confidence after the decision, Ram Gopal Yadav, who is the close aide of the Chief Minister, hinted a pre-poll alliance with the Congress. "We are fully prepared for the elections. It has been mentioned before by Akhilesh himself, but I haven't spoken to the national president but all options are open," Ramgopal told ANI when asked about a possible alliance with the Congress. Nominations for the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh start in few days, but the Samajwadi Party is yet to finalise candidates. Elections will be held in seven phases in Uttar Pradesh starting February 11, and nominations for the first phase begin on January 17. Votes will be counted on March 11. (ANI)