Maharashtra Politics: Election Commission Recognizes Ajit Pawar Faction as Legitimate NCP
In a significant development, the Election Commission has officially declared the Ajit Pawar faction as the true representation of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), settling the prolonged dispute over the party’s name and symbol. With this decision, the election symbol of the clock (Ghadi) will remain with Ajit Pawar’s faction, putting an end to the contentious issue that had divided the party.
Setback for Sharad Pawar
The Election Commission’s ruling, particularly ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections, deals a significant blow to the faction led by Sharad Pawar. Through a rigorous process that included more than 10 hearings over six months, the Election Commission arrived at the decision in favor of the Ajit Pawar faction, based on the test of legislative majority.
Months of Deliberation
Both factions of the NCP had repeatedly approached the Election Commission regarding the party’s identity crisis. Following a series of hearings spanning several months, the Election Commission has now issued its final decision, giving a deadline of February 7 for the Sharad Pawar faction to decide on a new name and symbol.
Allegations of Democracy Under Threat
Reacting to the Election Commission’s ruling, the Sharad Pawar faction has expressed dissatisfaction, alleging that the decision was made under duress. Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh characterized the decision as an affront to democracy, stating that it was unfortunate and indicative of undue pressure on the Election Commission.
Validation for Ajit Pawar Faction
On the other hand, leaders of the Ajit Pawar faction, including Praful Patel, hailed the Election Commission’s decision as validation of their faction’s widespread support among party members and elected representatives. This declaration underscores the assertion that the majority of party workers stand behind Ajit Pawar.