In a big setback for Sharad Pawar, the Election Commission on Tuesday (6 February) declared that the Ajit Pawar-led faction is the 'real' Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The NCP has been split in two factions since July 2023 after Ajit Pawar rebelled against his uncle Sharad Pawar and joined the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra.
The poll panel awarded the name and symbol of NCP to Ajit Pawar faction and has asked Sharad Pawar-led faction to convey the name and symbol of their party to the poll body by 3 pm today (7 February).
The Commission's decision was reportedly based on numerical strength of the factions. The faction led by Ajit Pawar had the larger share of NCP's 53 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly.
Ajit Pawar, who is also the deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, expressed on Election Commission's decision.
"Our party name, symbol and flag have now been allotted to us. We are extremely happy," Ajit Pawar said.
Only 12 of the party's 53 MLAs have been supporting Sharad Pawar since the battle for control of the party broke out last year.
Ajit Pawar is now likely to stake claim over the party headquarters in Mumbai.
The Ajit Pawar-led action will likely convey their demand officially so the party office can be given to them in a legal manner, India Today reported citing sources.
The party office was given by the government to the NCP party and is not from the party’s welfare funds.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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