The Sharad Pawar camp has told the Election Commission that Ajit Pawar’s demand for the Nationalist Congress Party’s election symbol is “premature” and “malafide” and should be rejected. His ‘petition’ to the Election Commission “does not reflect or evidence the presence of two factions of NCP,” they have contended.
Ajit Pawar and MLAs loyal to him joined hands with the BJP-Eknath Shinde alliance in Maharashtra last month and took oath as ministers. Like the Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde, they claim they are the real NCP, since they have the support of a majority of party MLAs. The faction led by him have approached the Election Commission, claiming the party name and poll symbol.
They have told the Election Commission that Ajit Pawar was elected the chief of NCP through a resolution dated June 30, 2023, signed by an “overwhelming majority” of party members.
“Ajit Pawar has not been able to demonstrate even prima facie that there exists a dispute In NCP… ECI has also not made any prima facie determination that there is any dispute existing between NCP led by its National President Shri Sharad Pawar and the former members of NCP (being led by Ajit Pawar),” the Sharad Pawar faction has argued, shows a copy of Sharad Pawar camp’s petition which is with NDTV.
“Before 01.07.2023, neither did Ajit Pawar raise any grievance against Sharad Pawar/NCP nor did he request for a meeting with Sharad Pawar or any other leader of NCP… As on the date (1.7.2023) of filing the ‘Petition’ does not reflect or evidence the presence of two factions of NCP,” the Sharad Pawar camp has contended.
The Ajit Pawar loyalists claim they are not a faction, but the one and the same party and they hope to persuade Sharad Pawar to go along with their decision to join Maharashtra’s ruling alliance.
“I don’t want to comment on issues regarding our internal party matters… Sharad Pawar continues to remain our idol and we want him to accept the political decision we have taken. We will persuade him,” Praful Patel – once a Sharad Pawar loyalist — has repeatedly told the media.
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