Sharad Pawar faction get a name; only for the interim | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Sharad Pawar faction get a name; only for the interim

Feb 08, 2024 06:09 PM IST

Sharad Pawar's faction, under Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar), will contest six Rajya Sabha seats in the state, declared Election Commission.

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India’s ruling recognizing the Ajit Pawar faction as the Nationalist Congress Party has come so close to the February 27 Rajya Sabha elections in Maharashtra that a new name has been provided for the Sharad Pawar faction only for the interim.

A person familiar with the matter said the ECI rejects names the two names as being similar to the Nationalist Congress Party which has been formally allotted to Ajit Pawar’s faction just as the name Shiv Sena was formally allotted to the rebel Eknath Shinde faction last year. (HT PHOTO)
A person familiar with the matter said the ECI rejects names the two names as being similar to the Nationalist Congress Party which has been formally allotted to Ajit Pawar’s faction just as the name Shiv Sena was formally allotted to the rebel Eknath Shinde faction last year. (HT PHOTO)

The faction headed by Sharad Pawar, who founded the NCP in 1999, will contest the Rajya Sabha elections for 6 seats in the state under the name, Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar), declared the Election Commission of India on Wednesday. This was one of the 3 names submitted to the EC by the Sharad Pawar faction to enable its leaders to contest the Rajya Sabha polls. The other two names proposed were, “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadrao Pawar”, and “NCP -- Sharad Pawar”.

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A person familiar with the matter said the ECI rejects names the two names as being similar to the Nationalist Congress Party which has been formally allotted to Ajit Pawar’s faction just as the name Shiv Sena was formally allotted to the rebel Eknath Shinde faction last year.

The ECI needed to cap a months-long feud between Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit, because of the peculiarities that Rajya Sabha elections entail. The rules require legislators to show their ballot paper to the authorised agent of the party they represent before putting it in the ballot box. “This allows the authorised agent of that political party to verify for whom such elector has cast his vote,” said the ECI order. The Ajit Pawar faction gets to retain the both the name and the symbol (analog clock) of the Nationalist Congress Party.

“The special circumstances, which have come into being, trigger a peculiarity as to whom the MLAs of the faction led by Respondent (Sharad Pawar) would show their votes in terms of provision of 39AA of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 in the forthcoming Rajya Sabha election in Maharashtra,” the ECI order said.

Accordingly, said the poll body, a one-time option had been provided to Sharad Pawar “for the purposes of the forthcoming Election to Rajya Sabha in Maharashtra, to claim a new name for its new political formation.” He will have to apply for afresh to the ECI to either continue this name or for another name for his faction. Rajya Sabha elections do not require a party symbol, just the party’s name.

Meanwhile, fearing that the Sharad Pawar faction would contest the EC ruling allotting them the party name and symbol, filed a caveat in the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking a hearing in case the Sharad Pawar faction mounted a legal challenge. Ajit Pawar’s party will also be submitting a letter to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats informing them about the election commission’s order so that their whip would be considered on the floor of both Houses in Parliament, said Sunil Tatkare, Maharashtra president of NCP.

“Certain forces are targetting and trying to terrorise those who express their opinions openly and are prepared to fight. We have to fight against them, but in a non-violent way. We have to stand against this lawlessness,” said Sharad Pawar in his first public comment following the ECI order. He said this while addressing a rally of his party’s youth workers in New Delhi on Wednesday.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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