Last Updated: February 13, 2024, 10:59 IST
Ajit Pawar with NCP founder Sharad Pawar (Images: PTI)
EC on February 6 recognized the Ajit Pawar-led faction as a real Nationalist Congress Party and granted them NCP’s “clock” symbol ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections
The NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Election Commission’s decision to allocate the party name and symbol to the group led by Ajit Pawar. Calling EC’s move ‘Unconstitutional’, Pawar in his plea said that having a majority is not the only test under the Symbols Act.
In a setback to Sharad Pawar, the Election Commission on February 6 recognised the Ajit Pawar faction as the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and also allotted the party symbol ‘clock’ to the group led by him. The development came over seven months after Ajit Pawar ‘split’ the NCP to join the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra.
Pawar on Sunday called the Election Commission’s decision “surprising” and said that the poll body has “snatched” the party from the hands of its founders and gave it to others. He also said the programme and ideology are important for the people while a symbol is useful for a limited period.
“I am confident that people will not support the Election Commission ruling against which we have approached the Supreme Court,” Sharad Pawar told reporters in Pune.
Pawar, who had served as chief minister of Maharashtra and also as union minister, founded the NCP in 1999 after breaking away from Congress.
“The EC snatched the party from the hands of those who founded and built it and gave it to others; such a thing never happened before in the country,” he said.
The senior politician also recalled that he had contested his first election on the symbol of ‘a pair of bullocks’.
“The programme and ideology are more important than any symbol,” he said.
The EC had said that its decision followed the laid-out tests of maintainability of such a petition which included tests of aims and objectives of the party constitution, the test of party constitution and tests of majority, both organisational and legislative.
The poll body has allotted ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as the party name for the group led by Sharad Pawar.