The Sharad Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday accused the Ajit Pawar group of presenting false affidavits before the Election Commission to stake claim over the name and poll symbol of the party and urged the poll panel to take penal action for allegedly falsifying evidence.
Timeline of Events: Ajit Pawar's Claim
Two days before rebelling against uncle Sharad Pawar to join the Maharashtra government in early July, Ajit Pawar had approached the Election Commission on June 30 staking claim to the party name as well as the symbol and subsequently declared himself as the party president with the support of 40 lawmakers.
Sharad Pawar Faction's Response to EC
Recently, the Sharad Pawar-led faction had told the Election Commission that there was no dispute in the party, except that a few mischievous individuals have defected from the organisation for their personal ambitions, a reference to the rebel group headed by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Counsel's Remarks: 'Startling, Amazing, Shocking Facts'
Briefing reporters on the hearing before the EC, Sharad Pawar faction's counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in the nearly 90-minute hearing, he presented to the Commission "startling, amazing, shocking facts" to show the "complete falsity" of the affidavits filed by the Ajit Pawar faction.
"We have given 24 categories of fraud to the EC," he said, adding that nearly 9,000 affidavits were analysed by the Sharad Pawar group to prove that the evidence filed by Ajit Pawar group were false.
"The fraud relates to affidavit filed by dead persons, the fraud relates to filing affidavits of minors, the fraud relates to taking names of posts which never existed in the constitution of NCP," he said.
Call for Penal and Criminal Action
"These are very serious. We have requested the Commission that you have to take penal action, criminal action, you have to file complaints for false evidence," the senior advocate said.
The Commission has fixed November 20 as the next date of hearing.
Thursday's was the third personal hearing by the EC. In such matters, the poll panel works as a quasi-judicial body and the case is heard by the chief election commissioner and fellow election commissioners.