ECI allows Sharad Pawar-led NCP to accept donations from public ahead of state assembly polls

The Sharad Pawar-led party had requested the commission to certify the status of the party for it to accept voluntary contributions from the public.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday granted permission to the ‘Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) – Sharad Pawar’ (NCP-SP) to accept voluntary contributions from the public in view of the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections. 

Earlier in the day, an 8-member delegation of the NCP-SP led by the party’s working President Supriya Sule met the Commission at Nirvachan Sadan.

The Sharad Pawar-led party had requested the commission to certify the status of the party for it to accept voluntary contributions from the public.

In an order, a copy of which is with this newspaper, the poll panel has authorised the party to “accept any amount of contribution voluntarily offered to it by any person or company other than a government company” under Section 29 B and Section 29C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which govern the contributions made to all political parties.

“The authorisation to the NCP-SP to accept donations will be applicable till the final disposal of the petition in the Supreme Court against the Election Commission decision,” the poll panel said in its order.

The NCP was split in July last year after Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government against the wishes of party founder Sharad Pawar. The faction led by Sharad Pawar had filed a plea seeking disqualification of Ajit Pawar and the eight MLAs.

Later on the Supreme Court’s direction, Maharastra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar clarified that the Ajit Pawar faction, with the support of 41 MLAs, was the legitimate NCP. The Sharad Pawar faction had only 12 MLAs.

Narwekar also underlined that there was no dispute over the NCP’s constitution as provided by both the Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions.

The ECI had also recognised the faction led by Ajit Pawar, as the real NCP, giving it control over the party name and 'clock' symbol.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP-SP contested 10 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and won eight, while Ajit Pawar’s NCP contested five seats and managed to win only one in the recently concluded general elections. 

NCP chief Sharad Pawar
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