New Delhi: The Sharad Pawar faction, which lost the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) name gets a new name for for his faction: “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar”. Earlier, the senior Pawar faction had submitted three options for a new name to the Election Commission. The group has also expressed its preference for the banyan tree as its new symbol. The three names suggested by the Sharad Pawar group are Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Chandra Pawar and Nationalist Congress Party Sharadrao Pawar.
The group wanted to retain the words “Nationalist” and “Congress” in its new name, as well as the initials of its founder and veteran leader Sharad Pawar. The group also wants to use the banyan tree as its new symbol, as it represents stability, longevity, and unity.
The Election Commission had asked the Sharad Pawar group to claim a new name and provide three preferences by Wednesday 4 pm, as the notification for the Rajya Sabha elections from Maharashtra is to be issued on February 8. The Sharad Pawar group has also challenged the Election Commission’s decision to recognise the Ajit Pawar faction as the real NCP and allot it the clock symbol in the Supreme Court.
The Sharad Pawar group has accused the Election Commission of being biased and influenced by the BJP, which is in power at the Centre. The group has claimed that it has the support of the majority of the NCP MLAs, MPs, and office-bearers. The group has also alleged that the Ajit Pawar faction has forged the signatures and documents to stake claim to the NCP name and symbol.
The NCP split into two factions after Ajit Pawar, the nephew of Sharad Pawar, rebelled against his uncle and joined hands with the BJP to form a short-lived government in Maharashtra in November 2023.
However, he later returned to the NCP fold and supported the formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by the Shiv Sena, along with the Congress. The Sharad Pawar group has accused Ajit Pawar of betraying the party and the people of Maharashtra.