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SC lets Pawar Sr’s NCP faction bear his name

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NEW DELHI: In a relief to Sharad Pawar, the

Supreme Court

on Monday directed that the Election Commission‘s interim order granting the name ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ for his faction would continue till further orders and asked him to approach EC for getting the symbol. Agreeing to hear Sharad Pawar’s plea against the EC decision to recognise

Ajit Pawar

’s faction as real

NCP

, a bench of Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan issued notice to the commission. The court also directed the commission to decide

Sharad Pawar

faction’s plea for election symbol within a week after application is filed.
“Issue notice. Counter-affidavit to be filed in two weeks, rejoinder if any within one week thereafter … Order of the Election Commission dated 7th February, granting the petitioner right to use name NCP Sharadchandra Pawar as per Symbols Order, shall continue,” the bench said.
Pressing for interim relief, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Sharad Pawar, submitted that his client would now have to obey the whip of Ajit Pawar if the Court does not grant relief. His plea was strongly opposed by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi who was appearing for Ajit Pawar.
The commission had on Feb 6 decided the NCP symbol dispute in favour of Ajit Pawar, almost eight months after he broke away from the Sharad Pawar camp to join the Shiv Sena-BJP govt in Maharashtra with eight NCP MLAs.

The commission had passed the order after evaluating the applicability of three tests, i.e ‘Test of Aims and Objectives of the Party Constitution’, ‘Test of Party Constitution’ and ‘Test of Majority’ to decide the dispute between the nephew and the uncle. The commission ruled in favour of Ajit Pawar faction as 57 affidavits were filed by NCP MPs, MLAs and MLCs in favour of Ajit Pawar faction and only 28 affidavits were filed in support of Sharad Pawar.

Meanwhile, Sharad Pawar welcomed the SC order. “It is a win for the voters as the Supreme Court observed that the voters of the country should not be undermined and questioned what about the fact that candidates have fought on the ticket of the original party,’’ Sharad Pawar said on X.
“We bow down to the Supreme Court for recognising us as the Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar, in the interim and having directed the ECI to consider our application for a symbol within seven days,’’ he said.

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