The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday approved the name ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ for the Sharad Pawar faction after his group lost the name and symbol of the party he floated in 1999 to his nephew, Ajit.
On Tuesday, the poll body said that the group led by Ajit Pawar – the nephew of Sharad Pawar – enjoyed majority support among legislators and will be the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with the original name and symbol (clock). In the same order, the poll body asked Pawar to look for a new name, keeping in mind the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls in Maharashtra – the party’s home state.
The ECI had said that for the Rajya Sabha elections on February 27, the Sharad Pawar faction can claim a new name, for which it should provide three choices by 4 pm on Wednesday. In their reply, the Sharad Pawar camp had given three choices to the ECI — Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar; Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadrao Pawar; and NCP-Sharad Pawar.
The ECI approved their first preference as the name for the group as a one-time option for the Rajya Sabha elections. They may have to get registered later as a new party with a new name, ECI sources said.
AJIT PAWAR HAS SUPPORT OF 41 MAHA MLAs, SHARAD PAWAR 15
In a 141-page order, the poll body said that Ajit had the support of 41 MLAs from Maharashtra, seven from Nagaland, one from Jharkhand, as well as two MPs from Lok Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha. He also enjoyed the support of one MLC from Maharashtra.
On the other hand, Sharad Pawar has the support of 15 MLAs from Maharashtra and two from Kerala. He also got support from four Lok Sabha and three Rajya Sabha MPs along with four MLCs from Maharashtra.
#WATCH | Delhi | On NCP name & symbol matter ruled by EC in favour of Ajit Pawar, party's working president Praful Patel says, "…We welcome the ruling of the Election Commission…We live in a democracy and any decision can be challenged. Maybe attempts will be made to… pic.twitter.com/IbOMdYLbun— ANI (@ANI) February 6, 2024
NCP LOST NATIONAL STATUS IN 2023
The NCP was formed by Sharad Pawar in 1999 after his exit from the Congress. His political career dates back to the late 1950s when he joined the Congress. In 1999, he was expelled from the party after Sonia Gandhi became its president and he raised the issue of her foreign origin.
The NCP became a national party in 2000. In April 2023, it lost this status. In May 2023, Sharad Pawar stepped down from the party presidency. Days later, he reversed his decision and withdrew his resignation. Things started going downhill after that.
In July 2023, rebel Ajit Pawar took the party battle to the ECI when he filed a petition. In September, the poll body registered that there were two divisions in the Maharashtra-based party, and personal hearings started in October.