SC asks Ajit Pawar to not use Sharad Pawar’s photo & name; take another symbol for party

Supreme Court urges NCP factions to focus on elections, not legal battles

Supreme Court urges NCP factions to focus on elections, not legal battles

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The National Congress Party (NCP) faction led by Ajit Pawar was asked by the Supreme Court on Thursday to refrain from using Sharad Pawar’s name and photograph. It also stated that the Election Commission’s order is being contested before the highest court and is not final. In order to prevent confusion, the bench asked Ajit Pawar to think about using a different symbol.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Sharad Pawar, informed the top court that the NCP of Ajit Pawar is deceiving people by utilizing Sharad Pawar’s face and the clock symbol.

Singhvi stated to the court that his request is straightforward. How are they going to use the clock and the picture of Sharad Pawar together? That is dishonesty. According to their own leader, this will work in their favour in rural areas.

After hearing the case, a bench made up of Justices Surya Kant and K.V. Viswanathan declared that they would ask the Ajit Pawar faction to provide an unqualified guarantee that its members would refrain from using Sharad Pawar’s picture. The bench instructed the Ajit Pawar faction to only use their individual identities now that they are two distinct entities.

Orally, the bench said that when elections come around, you need his face, and when you win the elections, then you leave the party.

The Sharad Pawar group filed an application alleging that his name and pictures were misused to appeal to voters, and the court ordered the Ajit Pawar faction to respond with an affidavit by Saturday.

Earlier on February 19, the Supreme Court granted permission for Sharad Pawar, the founder of the NCP, and his group to conduct business as the “Nationalist Congress Party-Sharad Chandra Pawar.”

In an order dated February 7, the ECI had given the Sharad Pawar faction the new name in order for them to run in the Rajya Sabha elections.

The bench granted the Sharad Pawar faction permission to apply for a party symbol as an additional temporary reprieve. Within a week of the Sharad Pawar faction’s application, the EC was instructed to assign them a party symbol.

The ECI designated Ajit Pawar’s faction as the legitimate NCP on February 6 and gave them the NCP symbol, “Wall Clock.”

In anticipation of a petition against the ECI order from the Sharad Pawar faction, the Ajit Pawar faction filed a caveat in the Supreme Court following the ECI decision. The warning states that the Supreme Court should hear Ajit Pawar’s faction before issuing any orders in Sharad Pawar’s plea.

Both factions were discovered to be operating outside of the party constitution and organizational elections, according to the ECI. As a result, Ajit Pawar’s group won the test of majority in the legislative branch.

The Sharad Pawar-led group was given a “one-time option” by the ECI to specify three preferences and claim a name for their political organization.

Speaker of Maharashtra Rahul Narwekar declared that the Ajit Pawar-led faction is the genuine National Congress Party. The legislative majority served as the foundation for the Speaker’s choice. The party’s forty-one MLAs backed Ajit Pawar.

Prior to this, the Supreme Court had given the Maharashtra Speaker until February 15 to make a decision regarding the NCP MLAs connected to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s faction who had filed petitions for disqualification.

Ajit Pawar defied his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to become the Deputy Chief Minister in the Maharashtra government. In July 2023, Ajit Pawar left the NCP with most of its MLAs and backed the Maharashtra government led by Eknath Shinde’s coalition of the BJP and Shiv Sena.

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