In a significant ruling, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has declared the faction led by Ajit Pawar, the estranged nephew of NCP founder Sharad Pawar, as the legitimate Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Adding to the vows, the commission also allotted the NCP symbol 'Clock' to the group under Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar fraction.
It's important to note that the dispute over the NCP's name and symbol erupted when Ajit Pawar, in July last year, defected with a majority of party MLAs, extending support to the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
The ECI took into account three laid-out tests to make its decision, namely :-
a) Test of aim and objectives of the party constitution
b) Test of party constitution
c) Test of majority to adjudicate the present dispute.
With inconclusive outcomes from the first two tests, the commission relied on the test of majority, basing its decision on the legislative wing's support.
According to Times Now, the commission stated, "The test of majority in the legislative wing found favor in this circumstance of the case, where both groups have found to be working outside the party constitution and the organizational elections."
The judgment said: “In the absence of any coherent and substantial document brought on record which would have otherwise shown that these bodies were constituted as per party constitution and thus undisputed, the Commission proceeded to determine the present dispute case on the basis of test of majority in the legislative wing."
Examining the affidavits of support submitted by both factions, the commission found that Ajit Pawar's group garnered 41 affidavits, compared to Sharad Pawar's 15, establishing a clear majority in favor of Ajit Pawar's leadership.
“In view of the aforesaid findings, the Commission holds that the faction led by petitioner Ajit Pawar is the NCP and is entitled to use its name and reserved symbol “clock for the purposes of the Elections Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968”, noted the judgment further.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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