A "war of list" has broken out between Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav. Father and son have each issued a list of probable candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections separately. The battle between the old and new guard of the Samajwadi Party is boiling over. The big question now is, can Akhilesh Yadav form a new party overnight?
Here are some possible scenarios before the young scion of the Yadav clan.
1. "Forming a new party with a separate election symbol according to the current norms will take between 3 to 5 months," says former Election Commissioner of India, HS Brahma. With elections round the corner, forming a new party therefore seems unlikely.
2. The other option is to prove before the Election Commission that Akhilesh has majority support of the existing Samajwadi Party. "In which case he can use the existing party symbol," Brahma says. But to arrive at this point, Akhilesh will have to wade through the requirements listed out in the constitution of Sawajwadi Party.
3. Akhilesh will have to approach the Election Commission and publish his intent to form a new party in national and regional dailies. "This will be followed by hearing at the Election Commission, after which the party can expect to be registered with a separate election symbol," Brahma says. "He can use 70 odd independent election symbols available with the EC," Brahma says.
4. Each of Akhilesh's candidates fighting with a separate election symbol will be a cumbersome affair, if not a nightmare for the young Chief Minister.
5. Party insiders say Akhilesh breaking away will pit the old guard, who are largely with Mulayam Singh Yadav, against his supporters. The consequence will be bitter and is unlikely to yield any substantial gains.
6. More importantly, Mulayam Singh Yadav remains the face of the Party as far as all crucial minority votes in UP are concerned.
7. Politically, perhaps, the internecine war is actually working in favour of Akhilesh. The public perception that he is for a clean-up of the party of "unwanted elements" is becoming stronger. In the public eye he emerges even stronger as a forward looking, progressive man. But if he seen capitulating before the old guard, the progressive, forward looking image may turn off voters.
8. Another option before Akhilesh is to take over an existing defunct party so that he can use a uniform symbol throughout the state.
9. Party insiders are betting on a rapprochement with father and son sooner than later. "It will be a give and take between them and each is likely to have their own face-saver," Samajwadi party sources told HuffPost India. A rapprochement will keep the party together and yet strengthen the image of Akhilesh. Therefore, is there a method in the madness? Some political analysts aren't ruling this out.