Election Commission recognises Ajit Pawar faction as official Nationalist Congress Party, allots symbol

The Election Commission of India on Monday allowed the application filed by the Ajit Pawar faction, recognising it as the official Nationalist Congress Party.

The Commission further ruled that the Ajit Pawar faction would be entitled to use the "clock" symbol, the reserved symbol for NCP.

The Ajit Pawar faction had filed the plea under the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, seeking to use the official symbol of NCP.

Using the test of "legislative majority," the Commission noted that the Ajit Pawar faction has the majority of legislators (51/81). It said the other tests - the test of "aim and objectives" and the test of "organisational majority"- were not conclusive in the case and hence, the test of legislative majority was used.

Keeping in view the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections for six seats from Maharashtra, the ECI allowed the Sharad Pawar faction to claim a new name for its political formation for the purposes of the Rajya Sabha polls. It noted that if the Sharad Pawar faction failed to intimate the preferred three names by 4:00 pm of February 7, the MLAs claiming allegiance to Sharad Pawar will be treated as independent MLAs.