Veteran political leader Sharad Pawar, embroiled in a battle with his nephew Ajit Pawar for the name and symbol of the party he founded, has lost. Much like the way the Sena versus Sena battle played out, the Election Commission has awarded both to the faction of the Nationalist Congress Party led by Ajit Pawar.
Sources said the Commission’s decision was based on numerical strength of the factions. The faction led by Ajit Pawar had the bigger chunk of NCP’s 53 MLAs in the Maharashtra Assembly.
Sharad Pawar has been asked to choose a name for his faction in view of the coming Rajya Sabha elections. They have been asked to convey the name and symbol of their faction to the poll body by 3 pm on February 7.
Only 12 of the party’s 53 MLAs have been supporting Sharad Pawar since the battle for control of the party broke out last year.
Forty-one MLAs are with Ajit Pawar, who joined hands with the BJP-Eknath Shinde alliance in a very public split that came as a huge loss of face for his 83-year-old uncle.
“The whole world knows who founded the NCP… So what the Election Commission did despite that is the murder of democracy by the election commission,” said Anil Desmukh, a senior leader of the Sharad Pawar faction.