NEW DELHI: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar has approached the Supreme Court against the February 6 order of the Election Commission of India (ECI) that recognised the faction led by Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar as the “real NCP” and gave it the right to use the party name and symbol, a clock.
Sharad Pawar’s appeal, which is likely to be mentioned to seek an urgent hearing over the next few days, questioned the basis on which the three election commissioners arrived at their conclusion the Ajit Pawar-led faction should inherit the party’s original name and the party symbol. The appeal was filed by advocate Abhishek Jebaraj on Monday.
Lawyer Abhikalp Pratap Singh last week filed a caveat on behalf of Ajit Pawar to ensure no orders are passed on Sharad Pawar’s appeal without hearing his side.
Team Sharad Pawar has faulted the ECI order for delivering its ruling on the tug-of-war between the two factions based on the legislative strength.
In a verdict that came after a months-long feud between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit, the commission said it followed the procedure laid down in a landmark 1971 Supreme Court judgment, which says such cases must be decided based on a triple test. The same process was followed by the commission to rule in favour of the Shiv Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde in his battle with the faction led by Uddhav Thackeray.
The Sharad Pawar faction presented the party’s constitution and organisational set-up to claim control over the majority, the poll panel went by the affidavits of support submitted by party MPs, MLAs, and MLCs to rule that the Ajit Pawar faction enjoyed a considerable majority in the legislative wing.
The panel discarded the evidence produced by Sharad Pawar, reasoning that the constitution of both the NCP working committee and national committee were “shrouded with doubts” due to the disputed organisational elections held in the year 2022.