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Symbol War Still on But Has Akhilesh Yadav Won the Online War?
SP workers celebrate after UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav elected party's national president unanimously during Samajwadi party national convention in Lucknow. (File Photo/PTI)
New Delhi: The war between Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and son Akhilesh for the party’s cycle symbol is not yet decided, but it seems the latter has the edge in the online space.
Ever since Akhilesh was ‘declared’ the SP’s national president on January 1, the party’s official Facebook page and Twitter handle have been posting what suits the Akhilesh camp. The official website of the party has not been updated for some days, but it seems the ownership of the site now belongs to the son.
On January 1, when Akhilesh loyalist and uncle Ram Gopal Yadav called a meeting of the national executive in Lucknow, the Facebook page of the party did a live stream. Its Twitter account says Naresh Uttam Patel is the party’s state president, not Mulayam’s brother Shivpal, and that Akhilesh is party chief.
The Samajwadi Party has over 12 lakh followers on Facebook and more than 28,000 followers on Twitter.
The party’s website still has photographs of Mulayam, who insists that he is the party chief and Shivpal the state president. The website refers to Akhilesh Yadav as the Chief Minister. The press release on the website is dated October 26, 2016.
The fact that the website has not been updated is noteworthy as it is Akhilesh and not Mulayam who owns it as per records. A simple search on www.who.is — which has a database of website registrations — shows Akhilesh as the
Registrant and administrative and technical contact for www.samajwadiparty.in.
Anup Girdhar, a cyber expert, says the domain belongs to the party and not to Akhilesh. “As per who.is record, he is responsible for this domain as a registrant and administrative and technical head, which does not mean he is the owner of the site. It's clearly mentioned that this site is the official website of the Samajwadi Party. And at the bottom, it is copyrighted to the Samajwadi Party with all rights reserved.”
Girdhar further explains that there isn’t any specific law regarding the ownership of the website of a political party.
Mulayam has not yet taken a fancy to social media, but his brother Shivpal Yadav has been posting statements on his behalf through his official Twitter handle.