Sharad Pawar Urgently Seeks Supreme Court Intervention Against ECI’s Recognition of Ajit Pawar’s Faction as NCP


LI Network

Published on: February 16, 2024 at 12:44 IST

Sharad Pawar has approached the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI), which officially recognized Ajit Pawar’s faction as the legitimate Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Sharad Pawar, urgently requested the Chief Justice of India for an expedited listing of their petition.

Singhvi emphasized the urgency of the matter, informing the bench that Sharad Pawar might face disciplinary action through a whip issued by Ajit Pawar during the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly Session, commencing next week.

Furthermore, Sharad Pawar’s faction has not been assigned any party symbol, adding to the complexities of the situation.

“It will be a strange situation, because of the ECI order, Sharad Pawar will be subject to the whip of Ajit Pawar when the Assembly starts next week. That order is under challenge, it is identical to the questions of law raised in the other matter (UBT-Shinde dispute)….please list it on Monday or Tuesday because the session in Maharashtra starts at the end of the week…on the 20th…They have not given me any symbol at all; it is worse than the Uddhav Thackeray Case,” Singhvi stated.

The bench, consisting of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, agreed to expedite the listing of the matter.

Sharad Pawar filed the petition on February 13, challenging the ECI’s decision on February 6 to allocate the official ‘clock’ symbol of NCP to the Ajit Pawar group.

The ECI based its decision on the legislative majority criterion, acknowledging that Ajit Pawar’s faction holds the majority with 51 out of 81 legislators.

Recently, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar relied on the ECI’s order to reject disqualification petitions against MLAs from both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar’s factions. Narwekar stated, “Ajit Pawar faction had overwhelming legislative majority when the split happened. This faction is the real NCP political party for these proceedings.”

The NCP faced internal strife in July last year, leading to a split between factions led by Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel, aligning with the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.

Ajit Pawar swiftly became the Deputy Chief Minister of the Maharashtra Government. In July, the Ajit Pawar faction approached the ECI for the official NCP symbol, while Sharad Pawar’s faction sought the disqualification of Ajit Pawar and supporting MLAs.

The Supreme Court, initially setting a deadline of January 31 for the Speaker’s decision, extended it to February 15 last week.

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