A senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party has said that key appointments prior to June 30 were not as per the Party's constitution and, hence, the only basis on which the Election Commission can decide about which faction represents the party is through electoral majority
A senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party has said that key appointments prior to June 30 were not as per the Party's constitution and, hence, the only basis on which the Election Commission can decide about which faction represents the party is through electoral majority.
The NCP split on July 2 after Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government. Since then, the Ajit Pawar faction and the group led by party founder Sharad Pawar have claimed they represent the party, PTI reported.
The report said that both sides have appointed functionaries while calling appointments made by the other group as illegal. They have also filed petitions seeking disqualification of elected representatives from the other side.
"We have 43 MLAs in Maharashtra supporting us as well as six out of nine MLCs," Praful Patel, working president of NCP as per the Ajit Pawar group, told reporters.
"While we believe in the principle of majority, it should be noted that the party can function only within the parameters of its own constitution. We never had our internal elections as per the constitution of the party so all the appointments prior to June 30 are unconstitutional," he claimed.
"Therefore,the only test based on which the Election Commission (of India) can decide (to whom the party, name, symbol belongs) is by number of elected representatives," he said in the presence of Lok Sabha MP Sunil Tatkare, who has been appointed state unit president by the Ajit Pawar faction.
At the event, all seven NCP MLAs from Nagaland along with the state unit chief, women's wing and youth wing chiefs extended support to Ajit Pawar.
Recalling the letter written in March extending support to the NDA's Nagaland government, Patel said that was the time the NCP joined the National Democratic Alliance.
After the split in the NCP, the Ajit Pawar group has laid claim on the party name and symbol by stating before the ECI that on June 30 he was made party chief replacing Sharad Pawar.
The ECI is set to hear arguments of both sides on October 6.
"The presidents, including Jayant Patil, have been nominated and not elected. Organisational appointments need to be through election. We have no such records of internal elections. Since we did not have elections, the selection of delegates (to party conference) is also questionable," Patel said.
"The decision on who the party belongs to has to be through elected representatives as there were no internal elections to choose office bearers," the Rajya Sabha MP asserted.
Asked if the party will contest Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, Patel said the ECI's order (on party) is likely to come within 15-20 days from October 6.
"We can talk (about contesting polls) after that. I do not know what the order will be. But I can surely tell you we have studied all the factors of this case and we are confident of winning it," Patel said. (With inputs from PTI)