RS election: Use ‘Nationalist Congress Party -Sharad Chandra Pawar’ name : SC

New Delhi, Feb 19 (UNI)The Supreme Court on Monday, while granting temporary relief to the Sharad Pawar faction, allowed it to use the name ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Chandra Pawar’ till further orders for the upcoming Rajya Sabha election scheduled to be held on February 27.

A bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice KV Viswanathan also issued notice on a plea filed by Sharad Pawar challenging the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) decision to recognize Ajit Pawar’s faction as the authentic Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

The bench allowed veteran leader Sharad Pawar to approach the ECI for the allocation of a party symbol and directed the poll panel to allot it within one week of applying.

Last Friday, a petition was mentioned by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, before Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud requesting an urgent listing of their matter, emphasizing the imminent risk of Sharad Pawar facing a whip from Ajit Pawar during the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly Session.

Singhvi said that since Sharad Pawar’s faction has not been allotted any party symbol, there is a likelihood of a whip being issued by Ajit Pawar’s faction.

Singhvi requested the court today to allow them a continuation of the interim arrangement approved by the Election Commission of using the name of ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Chandra Pawar’ until Rajya Sabha election scheduled to be held on February 27.

Singhvi also requested the court to give directions to the ECI to issue a symbol to them on an urgent basis. The ECI had said that the Ajit Pawar side is the real NCP, but for the Rajya Sabha elections, Sharad Pawar can use the name or symbol is not given.

The matter pertains to a petition, filed by Sharad Pawar, challenging the ECI’s February 6 decision, granting the official ‘clock’ symbol of the NCP to Ajit Pawar’s group.

The ECI said its decision was based on the criterion of ‘legislative majority’, with the Ajit Pawar faction possessing 51 out of 81 legislators. The other criteria such as the ‘aim and objectives’ and the ‘organizational majority’ tests did not yield definitive outcomes, were also considered.

The Election Commission also relied on the legislative majority test to determine the faction’s legitimacy.

Recently, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar declined to disqualify MLAs from either Sharad Pawar’s or Ajit Pawar’s factions, citing the ECI’s order recognizing Ajit Pawar as the NCP leader.

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