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SC bars Ajit Pawar from using Sharad Pawar’s name, iconic ‘Clock’ symbol

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SC bars Ajit Pawar from using Sharad Pawar’s name, iconic ‘Clock’ symbol

New Delhi/Mumbai, March 14 (IANS) In a huge jolt, the Supreme Court on Thursday banned the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of Ajit Pawar from using the name of his uncle and Nationalist Congress Party(SP) President Sharad Pawar as also the ‘Clock’ symbol of the undivided party.

A division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice K.V. Viswanathan ruled that since the Ajit Pawar NCP is now an independent entity it should not use Sharad Pawar’s identity and ‘Clock’ symbol.

Spelling doom for Ajit Pawar, the SC observed: “When elections come, you need his (Sharad Pawar) name and when there are no elections you don’t need him. Now, since you have an independent identity, you must proceed with that only.”

“You are a different political party… So why use his (Sharad Pawar) pictures, etc? Go with your own identity now, you have chosen not to be with him,” said the bench.

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The court sought a categorical undertaking that there would be no overlapping of Ajit Pawar’s NCP with Sharad Pawar’s NCP(SP) and suggested that the former could issue a public notice giving wide publicity that they are not concerned or related with (Sharad Pawar and NCP-SP) and how they will be known in politics.

The court’s order came in a plea filed by NCP(SP) challenging the February 6 decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) granting the original party founded by Sharad Pawar 25 years ago plus its widely recognizable ‘Clock’ symbol to the Ajit Pawar, and later the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker also passed a similar ruling.

The rulings by the ECI and Maharashtra Speaker both declared the Ajit Pawar faction — arising out of the split in July 2023 — as the ‘real NCP’, while the Sharad Pawar faction was allotted a new name (NCP-SP) and a ‘Trumpeter’ symbol, which the latter welcomed.

The NCP is part of the ruling MahaYuti government headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde (Shiv Sena), Bharatiya Janata Party’s Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as the two Deputy CMs.

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The latest SC ruling could have huge political repercussions for the NCP which is planning to contest the Lok Sabha 2024 elections on the ‘Clock’ symbol and has been using the name of Sharad Pawar on publicity and campaign materials.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)

–IANS

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