SC to Consider Urgent Listing of Sharad Pawar’s Plea Against EC Decision on Real NCP

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider for early listing a plea of Sharad Pawar challenging an Election Commission order recognising the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar-led faction as the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud took note of the submissions of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the veteran leader, that the plea needed urgent listing in view of a recent order of the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.

Narwekar held that the NCP faction led by Ajit Pawar was the real NCP and that the anti-defection provisions in the Constitution cannot be used to stifle internal dissent.

Prior to this, the poll panel announced on February 6 that the Ajit Pawar faction is the real NCP and also allotted the party’s ‘clock’ symbol to the group.

“Now the Sharad Pawar group will be under the party whip when the assembly starts functioning… our case is worse than Uddhav Thackeray as we have not been allotted any alternate poll symbol,” Singhvi said, seeking urgent listing of the plea on February 19.

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“I will just see,” the CJI said.

The plea was filed by Sharad Pawar in his personal capacity through lawyer Abhishek Jebaraj on Monday evening.

Prior to him, the Ajit Pawar faction had filed a caveat in the Supreme Court through advocate Abhikalp Pratap Singh to ensure that no ex-parte order is passed in favour of the Sharad Pawar group if the latter moves the top court.

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