In a significant development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has officially recognized the faction led by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar as the authentic Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The decision, based on the “Test of legislative majority,” is seen as a victory for Ajit Pawar, who had rebelled against his uncle, senior leader Sharad Pawar, in July 2023 to join the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government.
Setback for Sharad Pawar; Potential Legal Tussle Ahead
The ECI’s decision comes as a setback for Sharad Pawar, a prominent political figure in Maharashtra, and is anticipated to trigger another legal battle among different NCP factions. It is expected that Sharad Pawar-led MLAs may challenge the ECI’s decision in the courts.
Three-Test Examination by Election Commission
The ECI approached the dispute within the NCP through three tests: the “Test of Aims and Objectives of the Party Constitution,” the “Test of Party Constitution,” and the “Test of Majority.” While the first two tests failed to provide a decisive outcome, the ECI relied on the “Test of Majority” to determine the dispute, particularly focusing on the legislative wing’s majority.