NEW DELHI: The NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar has been allotted the title 'Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar' as its party name for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections for six seats in Maharashtra that are scheduled for this month.
The order by the poll authority came a day after it gave the Nationalist Congress Party name and the "clock" election symbol to the group led by Ajit Pawar, who had walked away with a majority of NCP MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly in July last year.
“It is to mention that the competent authority, in pursuance and confines of Para 143 of its final order, has acceded to your first preference, i.e., ‘Nationalist Congress Party Sharadchandra Pawar’ as the name of your group or faction as a one-time option for the purposes of the forthcoming election in six seats in the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra and Rule 39 AA of the conduct of election rules, 1961,” read a communiqué of the Commission to Sharad sent on Wednesday.
The Commission also offered an opportunity to the Sharad faction to claim a name for its political outfit and provide three preferences by Wednesday afternoon, given the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.
The Sharad Pawar group had submitted three preferences: the Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party—Sharadrao Pawar and the NCP-Sharad Pawar. The faction had also sought the 'banyan tree' as the election symbol for itself.
While adjudicating the matter in favour of the Ajit camp, the election body relied on the ‘test of legislative majority’. The Commission examined the affidavits of support filed by both factions to reach the conclusion that the group led by the petitioner (Ajit) enjoyed a majority among legislators.
In the affidavit filed by the Ajit Pawar faction before the Commission, it claimed to have the support of 41 MLAs in the Maharashtra legislative assembly and two MPs in the Lok Sabha.
The section also submitted affidavits of five members of the Maharashtra legislative council, one Rajay Sabha MP, seven MLAs of Nagaland and one Jharkhand legislator in his support.
On the other hand, the Sharad faction stated that it had the support of 15 MLAs, 4 MPs in Lok Sabha, four members of the legislative council in Maharashtra and three Rajya Sabha, besides two MLAs from Jharkhand.
Earlier, the Commission announced that it would hold the biennial elections for 56 Rajya Sabha seats, which are falling vacant in April, in 15 states on February 27.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda and nine union ministers are among those MPs who are retiring just before the Lok Sabha elections in April.