The Election Commission said ‘test of legislative majority’ helped Ajit Pawar faction clinch NCP symbol in view of disputed internal organisational elections
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has 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 poll body’s ruling in favour of the Ajit Pawar-led faction after more than 10 hearings spread over more than six months came as a big blow to the Sharad Pawar faction.
The Election Commission said the ‘test of the legislative majority’ helped the Ajit Pawar faction clinch the NCP symbol in view of disputed internal organisational elections.
It also provided Sharad Pawar with a one-time option to claim a name for its new political formation and provide three preferences to the Commission by 3 pm on February 7.
Ajit Pawar had walked away with a majority of NCP MLAs in July last year and supported the BJP-Shiv Sena government led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in Maharashtra.
AJIT PAWAR FACTION ENJOYED MAJORITY SUPPORT: EC
The Commission examined the affidavits of support filed by both factions and concluded that the group led by Ajit Pawar enjoyed majority support among the legislators.
“In view of the aforesaid findings, this Commission holds that the faction led by the Petitioner, Sh. Ajit Anantrao Pawar, is the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and is entitled to use its name and reserved symbol “clock” for the purposes of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968,” the poll body said.
WHEN DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS GET REPLACED BY OPAQUE ONES…: EC
The Election Commission said a party becomes a “private fiefdom of a single person or group of select individuals and the party is run like a private enterprise” when democratic elections get replaced by appointments or when the elections are held contrary to the provisions of the Party Constitution or when the elections are held in an opaque or obscure manner without disclosing the notifications, the electoral college, the place of election, etc.
“Such situations also lead to the party workers, who are at the bottom of the pyramidal hierarchy, to lose touch with the apex level representatives. The political parties form an important pillar on which our democratic governance stands and when this pillar is afflicted by undemocratic way of functioning, there will be reverberations in the national polity,” it said.
IN ABSENCE OF INTERNAL DEMOCRACY, INTERNAL DISPUTES LIKE THESE ARE BOUND TO HAPPEN: EC
The poll body said in absence of democratic internal structures, internal disputes are bound to create rifts and factions leading to the determination of the question by the Election Commission under the Symbols Order.
AJIT PAWAR WELCOMES EC RULING
NCP leader and Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar said the Election Commission has ruled in our favour after listening to the arguments of our lawyers. “We welcome this humbly,” he said.
AJIT PAWAR’S SUPPORTERS CELEBRATE EC RULING
Ajit Pawar’s supporters celebrated after the ECI ruling in the NCP vs NCP case. They raised slogans in support of Ajit Pawar.
MURDER OF DEMOCRACY: SHARAD FACTION ON EC’S DECISION
On Ajit Pawar getting the NCP name and symbol, Maharashtra leader Anil Deshmukh said, “Today the Election Commission has given Sharad Pawar’s party’s name and symbol to Ajit Pawar. A similar decision was taken in the case of Shiv Sena. NCP was founded by Sharad Pawar. He had been the president of the party for years. The Election Commission’s decision under pressure is the murder of democracy. This is unfortunate.”