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NCP Leadership Feud Intensifies: Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar Clash Over Party Symbol

Mumbai | September 25, 2023: In a dramatic turn of events, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) finds itself embroiled in a fierce dispute over leadership, with uncle Sharad Pawar and nephew Ajit Pawar at the center of the storm. The bone of contention? The party’s name and election symbol. The disagreement has now found its way to the courts, further deepening the political rift.

Both factions within the NCP have presented their claims regarding the name and election symbol, with October 6th set as the date for them to argue their respective cases. Ajit Pawar, who recently joined the Shinde government, asserts that he removed Sharad Pawar from the presidency on June 30. This power struggle has not gone unnoticed, and the political landscape of Maharashtra is bracing itself for potential upheaval.

Ajit Pawar, in a significant statement, has expressed his willingness to abide by the “final” decision of the Election Commission concerning the party’s name and election symbol. This marks a crucial turning point in the ongoing dispute that erupted when Ajit Pawar defected to the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in July, bringing eight MLAs with him. Claiming the support of a majority of NCP MLAs, he also staked a claim on the party’s identity and symbol with the Election Commission.

The rift between the two factions has led to a legal tussle before the Election Commission, which is yet to render a verdict on the matter. When asked about possible action against the MLAs who joined Sharad Pawar’s faction, Ajit Pawar responded by affirming that Sharad Pawar’s group could exercise their rights, but the final say lies with the Election Commission. Both factions are gearing up to present their arguments to the Commission as they await a resolution.

While Ajit Pawar continues to press his claim on the party, Sharad Pawar is diligently working to unite the NCP ranks. The recent meeting between the two Pawars, though described as personal by Sharad Pawar, suggests an ongoing dialogue. Furthermore, photographs showing Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar faction leader Praful Patel together in the new Parliament House underscore the complexity of the situation.

In the midst of this power struggle, NCP’s working president, Supriya Sule, has adopted a conciliatory stance towards Ajit Pawar. She clarified that she has never made derogatory statements about her cousin, emphasizing that her recent parliamentary remarks were directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, not at any individual.

Ajit Pawar dismissed speculations about a change in the Chief Minister’s post and the disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena MLAs. He deemed such reports baseless, asserting that such rumors have circulated since Eknath Shinde assumed the role of Chief Minister in June 2022, and they hold no merit. The political climate in Maharashtra remains tense, with uncertainty looming over the future of the NCP’s leadership and the state’s political landscape.


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