Mumbai, Feb 6 (IANS) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), led by Sharad Pawar, on Tuesday slammed the Election Commission decision to hand over the party name and ‘clock’ symbol to the breakaway faction of Ajit Pawar and said that it will move the Supreme Court challenging the move.
NCP Working President Supriya Sule said that this is “a murder of democracy” as the EC has given its ruling based on the strength of MLAs, “with the presence of an ‘invisible power’ behind it”.
“We are not at all surprised by the EC decision. It has unjustly taken away the party (NCP) from its founder-member (Sharad Pawar). We shall challenge the ECI ruling with full vigour in the Supreme Court to get justice,” she said.
Maharashtra NCP-SP President Jayant Patil said that the party will challenge the EC ruling in the apex court mostly by Wednesday.
“Wherever Sharad Pawar goes, NCP goes with him… This (EC) decision is not correct. The EC ruling will not stand in the apex court, we are confident of getting a stay,” he saidl.
Patil alleged that the “body language” of the EC officials during the hearings had made it amply clear which way the decision would go, despite the NCP-SP being formed by Sharad Pawar 25 years ago and now it has grown into a national party with presence in 28 states.
“However, the decision is taken only on the basis of the strength of MLAs which is sheer injustice done to us and Sharad Pawar. We are moving the apex court and expect its verdict before the Lok Sabha elections are announced,” said Patil.
NCP-SP national General Secretary Dr Jitendra Awhad said that “this decision was expected, and I have been saying this for the past several weeks”.
“Treachery is not in our blood… This is unfair and we shall fight it out. I have been saying for the past so many weeks what the EC decision would be,” he said, adding that “for us, Sharad Pawar Saheb is the party name and symbol”.
Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance constituent Congress’s leader Nana Patole said that the EC ruling was written by the Central government and the EC merely read it out, and the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is finishing off Opposition political parties and democracy in India.
“A few months ago, Bharatiya Janata Party President J.P. Nadda had said that no regional parties would exist in the country. After that the central investigation agencies and the EC have started eliminating regional parties at the behest of the Centre. What happened earlier with Shiv Sena and now with NCP is another form of killing democracy,” he said.
Shiv Sena-UBT national Spokesperson Kishore Tiwari said that the BJP has perfected a new art of breaking off established political parties by taking away MLAs-MPs with either threats or bribes or false cases or jail.
“The EC is putting its stamp of approval on such shameless goings-on. It appears that democracy is now at peril from the very constitutional institutions that are intended to safeguard it, and all are trying to please one individual and one political party,” he said.
Targetting her cousin without taking names, Sule said that “its regretful that the house belongs to Sharad Pawar Saheb, and ‘he’ (Ajit Pawar) has ousted him from his own home”.