Mumbai: The Election Commission on Wednesday sanctioned a new name to the Sharad Pawar faction as ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as the one-time option for the Rajya Sabha elections.
The new names proposed by the Sharad Pawar camp to the EC were – NCP-Sharad Pawar, NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar and NCP-Sharadrao Pawar, while the symbols proposed were Banyan tree and Rising Sun.
The Election Commission said it had accepted “the name of your group/faction as a one-time option for the purposes of the forthcoming election to six seats in the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.” However, the poll body is yet to allot a symbol for the NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar.
Ajit Pawar had broken from his uncle’s side in July last year to align with the BJP and was sworn in as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister. He has 53 MLAs and only 12 have sided with Sharad Pawar.
Meanwhile, the Ajit Pawar faction on Wednesday filed a caveat application in the Supreme Court seeking a hearing in case the Sharad Pawar faction files an appeal against the election commission order officially recognising Ajit’s faction as the real NCP. This came after the NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar said that it would approach the top court after the EC allocated the party name and symbol to the ‘rebel’ group.
The supporters of Sharad Pawar on Wednesday demonstrated in various parts of Maharashtra to protest against the EC decision to allow the NCP party name and symbol to Ajit Pawar. Calling it a blank day, they said the decision was a violation of the constitution.
However, reacting to the EC decision, Maharashtra BJP leader and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that those who murdered the democracy in 2019 have now realised the power of democracy.
“The Election Commission’s decision is a victory of democracy and majority, especially in view of what happened after the 2019 assembly elections in Maharashtra. People’s mandate was rejected and democracy was murdered at that time,” Fadnavis said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the undivided Shiv Sena had contested the 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections together. But after the results, the Sena snapped ties with the BJP and joined hands with the NCP and the Congress to form Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government headed by Uddhav Thackeray.
In June 2022, Shinde and 40 other MLAs revolted against the Shiv Sena leadership, leading to a split in the party and collapse of the MVA government. Shinde then joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party to form government in the state.