Maharashtra assembly speaker declares Ajit Pawar faction as ‘real NCP’ | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra assembly speaker declares Ajit Pawar faction as ‘real NCP’

Feb 15, 2024 07:24 PM IST

Narwekar also dismissed disqualification petitions filed against MLAs by both NCP factions, saying they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the defection of elected representatives—MLAs and MPs

Mumbai: In another setback to Sharad Pawar and his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) faction, Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Thursday declared that the Ajit Pawar-led faction is the ‘real’ NCP.

Ajit Pawar faction NCP celebrate near Mantralay in Mumbai (ANI Photo)
Ajit Pawar faction NCP celebrate near Mantralay in Mumbai (ANI Photo)

Narwekar also dismissed disqualification petitions filed against MLAs by both NCP factions, saying they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with the defection of elected representatives—MLAs and MPs.

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“Both factions cannot claim their leader was validly elected by following all the provisions of the party constitution. In this background, I am considering the legislative majority as the ground for determining the real party. The Ajit Pawar faction has outnumbered the Sharad Pawar faction in the legislature… Hence I hold that the Ajit Pawar faction is the real political party,” Narwekar said.

The assembly speaker’s decision is similar to the decision given by him in the Shiv Sena split case, where the rival faction led by chief minister Eknath Shinde was designated as the ‘real’ Shiv Sena, and disqualification petitions filed by both warring factions were also turned down.

The decision in the NCP case came nine days after the Election Commission of India (ECI) termed the Ajit-led NCP faction as the ‘real’ NCP and allowed them to use the party’s name and its electoral symbol of the clock.

While pronouncing the verdict, the assembly speaker termed the split as intra-party dissent and said that the leadership should not use the provision of the 10th Schedule to silence the members or to crush the opposition in the party.

“It is a dissent expressed by members of NCP. The provision of the 10th Schedule should not be used to silence the members or to crush the opposition. This would be a complete abuse of law and contrary to its contention,” he remarked while dismissing the disqualification petition filed by the Sharad-led faction.

Also Read: Sharad Pawar moves SC against EC order on party name, symbol

Turning down the disqualification petition filed by the Ajit-led faction, Narwekar said that none of the contentions in the disqualification against MLAs of the Sharad-led faction falls into the jurisdiction of provisions of the 10th Schedule. “Consequently, disqualification petitions filed are liable to be dismissed.”

He said that the question of who the real party is can be determined by going through the constitution, leadership structure, and legislative majority. There was no dispute over the constitution of the NCP.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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