Sharad Pawar faction seeks urgent listing of plea against ECI order citing subjection to Ajit Pawar's Whip

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Election Commission had also concluded that the group led by Ajit Pawar enjoyed majority support of the legislators and can lay claim to being NCP

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi today mentioned before a CJI DY Chandrachud led bench the plea filed by National Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar led faction challenging the Election Commission's decision to grant the clock party symbol to Ajit Pawar and recognize his group of MLAs as the real NCP.

Singhvi told the bench that Pawar may be forced to face a whip issued by the Ajit Pawar faction on commencement of the Assemble session next week.

The bench went on to say that the matter will be listed at the earliest.

Sharad Pawar had approached the Supreme Court a few days back challenging the ECI's decision in favour of Ajit Pawar, who broke away from the Sharad Pawar camp to join the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra with eight NCP MLAs.

A week back, the ECI had ruled that Ajit Pawar's faction was the real NCP and permitted the faction to use the 'clock' symbol for the party. In its order, ECI said total number of NCP MLAs in Maharashtra State assembly stood at 81, out of which, Ajit Pawar submitted affidavits of 57 MLAs in his support while Sharad Pawar had only 28 affidavits.

Notably, yesterday Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar recognized the Ajit Pawar-led faction as the legitimate NCP and dismissed all disqualification petitions against both the Sharad Pawar faction and the Ajit Pawar faction.

The Speaker's decision acknowledged that the Ajit Pawar faction had the support of the majority of MLAs and further noted that the collective dissent would remain a dissent within the political party even when it began to be raised publicly.

Sharad Pawar led faction had knocked on the Supreme Court's door last year asking it to direct the Maharashtra Speaker to decide the disqualification petitions filed by it against the Ajit Pawar led faction.

Last month, the Supreme Court had granted an extension of 15 days to the Maharashtra Speaker for deciding the disqualification petitions filed by Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party faction which ends on February 15, 2024.