Pawar unveils new NCP symbol at Raigad Fort | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Pawar unveils new NCP symbol at Raigad Fort

Feb 25, 2024 07:56 AM IST

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on February 22 allotted the new symbol to the Pawar faction of the NCP. It will have this symbol till the Supreme Court decides on the ongoing petition filed by the Pawar faction, challenging the ECI verdict that the Ajit Pawar-led faction was the real NCP and thus had the right to use the party’s clock symbol

MUMBAI: Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) chief Sharad Pawar formally unveiled the new symbol of his party, a man blowing a tutari or blowhorn, on Saturday at Raigad Fort, the capital of Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) chief Sharad Pawar during launch of party’s new symbol at Raigad Fort in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. (Bachchan Kumar/ HT Photo)
Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) chief Sharad Pawar during launch of party’s new symbol at Raigad Fort in Navi Mumbai on Saturday. (Bachchan Kumar/ HT Photo)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on February 22 allotted the new symbol to the Pawar faction of the NCP. It will have this symbol till the Supreme Court decides on the ongoing petition filed by the Pawar faction, challenging the ECI verdict that the Ajit Pawar-led faction was the real NCP and thus had the right to use the party’s clock symbol.

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With the apex court verdict unlikely soon, the Pawar faction will probably have to use the tutari as its symbol for the coming Lok Sabha elections and has planned an aggressive drive, including a massive campaign on social media, to popularise it among the people. The tutari was commonly used by the Maratha army, and emphasising this, the Pawar faction is going all out to link its new symbol to Shivaji Maharaj and his army.

Pawar’s daughter and the party’s working president Supriya Sule, MP Amol Kolhe, state unit chief Jayant Patil and Kalwa-Mumbra MLA Jitendra Awhad were present when the symbol was unveiled at Raigad Fort. “The sound of the tutari will invigorate the new struggle,” said Pawar in his speech at the function. “We will have to bring in people’s rule to change the situation in the state, where troubles are going to increase. This is a fight of ideology.”

Pawar remarked that Shivaji’s rule was oriented to the welfare of the masses. “The new symbol will give us inspiration. We will get success, and hence I made it a point to come to this place,” he said. Jayant Patil thanked the ECI for the new symbol and said it would become the most popular party symbol in the state.

The ruling parties and Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena sought to dismiss the drive. “Whether they play the tutari or the lighted mashal (the new symbol of the Shiv Sena UBT), the BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP combine will still get more than 45 seats in the Lok Sabha,” said BJP minister Chandrakant Patil. Raj Thackeray, on his part, jibed that it was only because of Ajit Pawar that Sharad Pawar went to Raigad Fort after 40 years.

The barb has hurt the Pawar faction a lot. Mahesh Tapase, chief spokesperson of the faction, hit back, saying that despite so many years in the political arena, Thackeray’s party was politically insignificant in Maharashtra’s political landscape. “Raj Thackeray should draw inspiration from Sharad Pawar,” he said, citing the veteran leader’s “unwavering courage, confidence, and indomitable spirit in rallying the NCP cadre together under a new political symbol”.

Tapase underlined the NCP’s commitment to challenging the BJP in the electoral sweepstakes. “Our new election symbol, the tutari, has filled the air with new hope, energy and enthusiasm as Maharashtra places its trust in Pawar Saheb,” he said.

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