Congress leader Udit Raj on Thursday said that Sharad Pawar represents the Nationalist Congress party after Ajit Pawar, as per sources, moved the Election Commission to stake claim to the party and its symbol.
“As per the Supreme Court guidelines, when an MLA switches over, the party stands as such. Accordingly, Sharad Pawar represents the NCP,” he told ANI.
“The switching over of an MLA is one thing. And the matter of the party is another thing,” he said.
He said that the Supreme Court, state government and the Election Commission would play a major part in this whole exercise of anti-defection law.
“But the EC is under the grip of the ruling BJP. We do not expect justice to come from there,” he alleged.
Sources revealed that Election Commission has received a petition from Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar staking claim to NCP and the party symbol.
The sources said the Election Commission has also received a caveat from Jayant Patil, who is with the Sharad Pawar group. He also informed the panel that they have initiated a disqualification process against nine MLAs who joined the Eknath Shinde-BJP government in the state on Sunday.
The anti-defection statute, which was brought into force in 1985, was made stricter in 2002 to prevent political switchovers.
The Congress leader hoped that some of the rebel MLAs may return to the Sharad Pawar camp.
“If the Ajit cannot prove two thirds majority of the MLAs, then the anti-defection law should be enforced,” Raj, a senior Congress leader, said.
The party has 53 MLAs in the state legislative Assembly.
Calling Pawar senior a veteran politician, he said the NCP chief would be working hard to rebuild the party.
Amid Maharashtra political crisis, Sharad Pawar on Thursday left for Delhi where he has called a National Executive meeting.
Meanwhile, posters saying “In the fight of truth and lie, the entire country is with Sharad Pawar” and “India’s history is such that it has never forgiven those who have betrayed” come up outside NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in Delhi.
However, later it was removed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
With the NCP witnessing the unravelling of the party, the Pawar family feud played out on stage on Wednesday as NCP factions headed by Sharad Pawar and his nephew held rival meetings at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in south Mumbai and in Bhujbal Knowledge City in suburban Bandra, respectively.
The politics of Maharashtra is on the boil since Sunday as senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar took oath as the deputy chief minister of the state. Ajit Pawar joined the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government with eight other MLAs and has claimed control over the Nationalist Congress Party. (ANI)