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Election Commission to hear pleas by NCP factions over party name, symbol row

The Election Commission of India on Friday will hear the plea of both the factions of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) over claims on the party name and symbol.

One faction of the NCP is led by Sharad Pawar and the other by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Ajit Pawar earlier in July approached the Election Commission staking claim to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the party symbol amid a feud between the faction led by Ajit Pawar and that by party supremo Sharad Pawar.

Later, the Election Commission wrote to both factions of the party acknowledging the split and also directed both Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar to share documents, submitted to the polling body, with each other.

Today is the first hearing of the case before ECI.

Also read | ‘Unwell’ Ajit Pawar skips Delhi trip with CM, Devendra Fadnavis; but meets NCP men

The Commission in July also issued a show-cause notice to the NCP group led by Sharad Pawar following a petition filed by the Ajit Pawar faction.

The petition claimed that Ajit Pawar should be declared NCP president and should be allotted the party’s symbol as per the provisions of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

NCP MP Supriya Sule earlier this month said that there is no internal conflict in the party Sule further said that the party was founded by senior leader Sharad Pawar and it is obvious that the symbol should remain with him.

“There is no fight in the NCP… The party was established by Sharad Pawar 25 years ago. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, everyone knows NCP means Sharad Pawar. NCP national president is Sharad Pawar, and the Maharashtra state president is Jayant Patil. There is no question of it (the symbol) going away. The party was made by Sharad Pawar, so the symbol should remain with him it is obvious,” Supriya Sule said while speaking to reporters in Nagpur.

While Ajit Pawar had said that he would accept the final decision by the polling body.

“Election Commission will give the final decision…After getting the dates, both sides will be represented before the Election Commission…I will accept the final decision that comes after that,” he said.

Ajit Pawar had filed the petition before the ECI on June 30, and while he was sworn in as deputy chief minister on July 2, his notice reached the ECI office on July 5.

Ajit Pawar had submitted the petition along with affidavits of MPs, MLAs, and MLCs to support his claim.

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