Summary

* Is EC ruling a swansong for Mulayam’s political role?

* Soon after EC verdict, son rushes to father’s house.

* Akhilesh faction is the official Samajwadi Party

* What will happen to Shivpal, Amar Singh, Jayaprada and Azam Khan now?

It''s now official! The Samajwadi party now belongs to son Akhilesh, who has literally edged out father and Yadav patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Election Commission has given an order that the party faction led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is the official Samajwadi Party and he would be entitled to use the bicycle symbol.

While this would be a big boost to the hugely popular Akhilesh, it is a definite setback to Mulayam in the evening of an eventful political career that defined BC-Muslim politics in India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh. The EC said it recognised Akhilesh Yadav as the national president of Samajwadi Party.

The decision, less than a month before the staggered Uttar Pradesh assembly election starts on February 11, was first announced by Akhilesh confidant Ram Gopal Yadav. A beaming Ram Gopal Yadav, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, urged the people of Uttar Pradesh to vote Akhilesh Yadav back to power in the coming election. "This is a just decision," he told the media. "The Election Commission will get the blessings of crores of people of Uttar Pradesh."

The Akhilesh faction has already started celebrating in both Delhi and Lucknow and the party headquarters in Lucknow, which till now had two national presidents, will from now on sport only Akhilesh Yadav's name. However, in a conciliatory gesture, Chief Minister Akhilesh immediately headed to the house of his father and party founder Mulayam Singh.

The Akhilesh faction has already started celebrating in both Delhi and Lucknow and the party headquarters in Lucknow, which till now had two national presidents, will from now on sport only Akhilesh Yadav’s name. However, in a conciliatory gesture, Chief Minister Akhilesh immediately headed to the house of his father and party founder Mulayam Singh.

The Baap-Beta war in Uttar Pradesh has reached a critical stage. Both Mulayam Singh faction and Akhilesh Yadav faction have laid claims to cycle symbol. Akhilesh Yadav faction, which has most SP MLAs on its side and literally controls the party's Lucknow office, was always confident that it would get the cycle symbol. The Samajwadi Party formally split on January 1 when the Akhilesh faction ousted Mulayam Singh as its President.

On January 13, Mulayam Singh, his brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and a team of lawyers met the election commissioner and argued their case. Akhilesh Yadav's lawyers and his supporters Ramgopal Yadav, Kiranmoy Nanda and Naresh Agarwal also presented their case. The EC, which heard both the arguments, reserved its judgement on January 17. The three-member EC, headed by Nasim Zaidi, had reserved its judgement after hearing both sides on January 13.