Former Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar is set to suggest new names and a symbol to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday, following the ruling by the ECI to allocate the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)’s name and symbol. to the faction led by Ajit Pawar.
Reacting to the ECI ruling on Tuesday, Supriya Sule, NCP MP and daughter of Sharad Pawar, condemned the decision, calling it a "conspiracy against Maharashtra and Marathi people", news agency PTI reported. Sule expressed her lack of surprise regarding the ruling, stating, "With the help of this media, we can easily communicate our new name and new symbol to the entire world within a second."
Regarding the next plan of action, she said, “We are clearly doing two things. First, we are going to the Supreme Court in the next 48 hours. Second, the Election Commission has given us an option to give them three names and three symbols by tomorrow evening, so we will of course do that.”
VIDEO | “We are clearly doing two things. First, we are going to the Supreme Court in the next 48 hours. Second, the Election Commission has given us an option to give them three names and three symbols by tomorrow evening, so we will of course do that,” says NCP MP @supriya_sule… pic.twitter.com/cBubzhXQwK
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 6, 2024
Sule highlighted Sharad Pawar’s history of contesting elections on different symbols and expressed confidence in adapting to the change, according to PTI’s report.
Anil Deshmukh, a loyalist of Sharad Pawar and former state minister, criticized the ECI ruling as a "murder of democracy," alleging that it was made under external pressure. Deshmukh cited the Supreme Court’s intervention in the Chandigarh mayoral election as a precedent for judicial oversight in electoral matters.
Jayant Patil, Maharashtra NCP president (Sharad Pawar group), expressed hope for judicial intervention, stating, "The Supreme Court is the last hope for us, and we are expecting a stay on the ECI ruling." Patil emphasized Sharad Pawar’s role in nurturing the NCP from its grassroots and supporting numerous political leaders.
According to PTI, Jitendra Awhad, another loyalist of Sharad Pawar and former minister, vowed support for Pawar, asserting, "Sharad Pawar is our party and the symbol that enjoys the backing of people." Awhad criticized the ECI process, labeling it a "circus" and alleging pre-determined outcomes.
Expectedly, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the ECI’s decision, with Shinde asserting that the verdict was based on merit and majority. Fadnavis congratulated Ajit Pawar and his colleagues over the ECI’s decision.
Addressing potential sympathy towards Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray in upcoming elections, Shinde highlighted developmental works as the decisive factor for voters, asserting Maharashtra’s progress under the current administration. .
Following the ECI announcement, supporters of Ajit Pawar in Pune and Baramati celebrated the ECI ruling by bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets. Local leaders in Baramati called for unity within the party following the decision.
Ankush Kakade, a senior NCP leader from Pune and a supporter of Sharad Pawar, pledged to propagate the new name and symbol to every household, reflecting the party’s determination to adapt and move forward, the report stated.
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