Always wanted Akhilesh to take over Samajwadi Party: Amar Singh

New Delhi [India]: A day after the Election Commission allotted the ‘cycle’ symbol to the Akhilesh Yadav-led faction, expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who has been blamed for causing a rift within the party, on Tuesday congratulated the former for the victory and stated that despite the outcomes he had always considered Akhilesh the ‘real face’ of the party.

Speaking to ANI, Singh, who acknowledged his expulsion from the party, clarified that he never spoke ill of Akhilesh and always wanted him to take over the reins of the party.

“When the fight was at its speak I never spoke ill of Akhilesh. I, in fact, asked Mulayam in front of Ram Gopal to make Akhilesh the national president of the party, but with the consensus of Shivpal. I never talked ill of Akhilesh in front of Mulayam and I am not saying just because he won his case or he has become the party’s national president,” he said.

He also said the party will achieve significant heights under the “Akhilesh era’ and also expressed happiness when Akhilesh went to his father’s house to seek his blessings ahead of the assembly polls.

“It speaks volumes of Akhilesh’s character, when he, after being allocated the symbol, went to his father’s house to seek his blessings, it is a huge thing, I am sure he will succeed in his endeavours,” he said.

When asked whether he would resume his political career by joining either the Congress or the BJP, Singh said, “I will neither join Congress nor BJP because of Mulayam. As along he is there, I won’t be joining any of the party. My political career started with Mulayam and it will end with him.”

In a major setback to Mulayam, the Election Commission yesterday recognised the faction led by Akhilesh as the Samajwadi Party and allotted it the ‘cycle’ symbol.

Meanwhile, the poll process for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will begin today with notification for the first phase of voting scheduled on February 11.

Seventy three constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh will vote in this phase.

The filing of nominations for these constituencies will start today and the last date for the same will be January 24.

The withdrawal of candidature could be done till January 27 and polling will be on February 11.

The districts going to polls in the first phase are Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Hathras, Agra, Firozabad, Etah and Kasganj.

Uttar Pradesh will have seven-phase polling between February 11 and March 8.

The term of the present government will end on May 27. (ANI)