Sharad Pawar seeks urgent hearing against EC order recognizing Ajit Pawar faction

Mumbai: NCP leader Sharad Pawar on Friday sought an urgent hearing of his plea against the Election Commission’s recognition of the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party.
The poll panel had also allotted the faction with the party symbol ‘clock’.
Making a mention of urgent listing of the petition, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and comprising Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, on the likelihood of Sharad Pawar facing the whip of the Ajit Pawar faction in the Maharashtra assembly session which is going to start on February 20.
Singhvi said the Pawar group has not been given any symbol at all.
“Matter of extreme urgency. Because of the Election Commission order, Sharad Pawar will be subject to the whip of Ajit Pawar. Session in Maharashtra starts next week. We have not been given any symbol at all,” Singhvi told the court seeking the listing of the case on February 19.
Pawar on February 13 moved the Supreme Court challenging the February 6 Election Commission decision of recognizing the breakaway faction of the party led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar as the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The poll panel had recognized the faction led by Ajit as the real NCP based on the majority of lawmakers belonging to the faction in the state legislature.
It noted that out of 81 MLAs belonging to NCP in the Maharashtra assembly, 57 were with him (Ajit Pawar) and only 28 with Sharad Pawar. As a consequence, the poll panel permitted the Ajit Pawar faction to use NCP’s ‘clock’ symbol.
The Ajit Pawar faction had also filed a caveat in the Supreme Court in anticipation of the Sharad Pawar faction knocking at the court’s doors challenging the Election Commission’s decision.
On Thursday, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar also ruled that Ajit Pawar’s party was the real NCP.
In July 2023, the Sharad Pawar-led faction had filed petitions before Speaker Narwekar seeking disqualification of eight MLAs for their ‘anti-party’ activities after Ajit Pawar split the party and joined the BJP-led coalition government in Maharashtra.

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