The Election Commission of India (ECI) will meet again on Monday to decide on the dispute over the name and electoral symbol of the NCP between two factions, one led by Sharad Pawar and another by his nephew and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar arrived at the ECI office in Delhi to personally attend the hearing after meeting Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi, who was representing Sharad Pawar, told reporters, “We appeared (before EC) today, the hearing went for over two hours. The first part of the hearing went for an hour where we said that we are obliged to determine as a threshold issue whether there is a dispute or not.”
Both the factions have filed petitions before the ECI for the party's name and poll symbol after the latter broke ties with the senior Pawar leaving a vertical split in the party.
Ajit Pawar Moved ECI After Party Split
Crisis in the NCP erupted on June 30, after Ajit Pawar wrote to the ECI seeking recognition of his faction as the “real” NCP. He later declared himself as the party president with the support of several party legislators and leaders.
Ajit Pawar joined the Eknath-Shinde-led government and became the deputy Chief Minister sharing the seat with BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.
In July, Ajit Pawar had approached the ECI claiming the party name and symbol. The ECI has acknowledged that there has been a split in the NCP.
Sharad Pawar Exhibits Power
Meanwhile, a day earlier, the Sharad Pawar faction held a show of strength in Delhi on Thursday with the 82-year-old NCP founder expressing confidence of gaining people’s support irrespective of the party’s poll symbol. He also chaired the NCP’s extended working committee meeting.
He told the gathering not to worry about the party symbol as he had contested on five symbols so far and won all the time.
“I first contested on the symbol of a spinning wheel, cows, then the hand and lastly on the NCP symbol of clock. Every time, people gave me their blessings. The common people of this country are smart enough.… so, no need to worry. People's hearts don't change with the change of the election symbol,” he said.