Senior politician Sharad Pawar on Sunday said the Election Commission’s decision to allot the NCP name and symbol to Ajit Pawar-led group was “surprising” as the poll body has “snatched” the party from the hands of its founders and gave it to others.
Pawar founded the Nationalist Congress Party in 1999,
He also said the programme and ideology are important for people, while a symbol is useful for a limited period.
In a setback to Sharad Pawar, the Election Commission on February 6 recognised the Ajit Pawar faction as the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and also allotted the party symbol ‘clock’ to the group led by him.
“I am confident that people will not support the Election Commission ruling against which we have approached the Supreme Court,” Sharad Pawar told reporters in Pune. The Election Commission not only snatched our symbol but also handed over our party to others, he said.
“The EC snatched the party from the hands of those who founded and built it and gave it to others; such a thing never happened before in the country,” said Pawar, who founded the NCP in 1999 after breaking away from Congress.
Pawar, who had served as chief minister of Maharashtra and also as union minister, recalled that he had contested his first election on the symbol of ‘a pair of bullocks’. “The programme and ideology are more important than any symbol,” he said.
The EC had said that its decision followed the laid-out tests of maintainability of such a petition which included tests of aims and objectives of the party constitution, the test of party constitution and tests of majority, both organisational and legislative. The poll body has allotted ‘Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar’ as the party name for the group led by Sharad Pawar.
Sharad Govindrao Pawar has also served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra for four terms and has also served in the Union Council Of Ministers as the Minister of Defence in the Cabinet of P.V Narsimha Rao and Minister of Agriculture in the Cabinet of Manmohan Singh. Pawar comes from Baramati of Maharashtra. He is the patriarch of the influential political family—the Pawar Family—and a prominent face in Maharashtra politics. Other politicians from the family include his daughter Supriya Sule, Ajit Pawar his nephew, Rohit Rajendra Pawar a nephew’s son and other members of his extended family.
Outside of politics, Pawar has served as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from 2005 to 2008 and as the president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) from 2010 to 2012. He was the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association from October 2013 to January 2017. In 2017, the Indian government conferred upon him Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian honour of India. On 7 February 2024, the Election Commission of India allotted the clock symbol of NCP to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar led faction thus making the Ajit Pawar faction the real Nationalist Congress Party.