Sharad Gets NCP-SP, Symbol, Tries to Stop 'Clock for Ajit

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Sharad Pawar faction of the NCP to use 'Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar' as its name for Lok Sabha polls and Assembly elections in some states as well as the 'man blowing turha (trumpet)’ as its symbol.

The top court order came on a plea by the Sharad Pawar group seeking to restrain the Ajit Pawar faction from using the “clock” symbol for the polls on the ground that it is disrupting the level playing field.

The NCP, founded by Sharad Pawar, had the clock as its election symbol before its split. The Election Commission recently allotted the symbol to the Ajit Pawar faction.

The bench asked the Ajit Pawar camp to file its response within four weeks on the Sharad Pawar group's main plea against the February 6 order of the Election Commission recognising the former as the real NCP.

The bench took on record an undertaking by Ajit Pawar, the Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, that it would not use the name or picture of Sharad Pawar in any election-reated material.

During the hearing, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi said that people in rural areas look at the 'clock' symbol and vote as they were familiar with it for 25 years. “Even if two per cent of people vote look at the clock symbol now, it will affect the level playing field,” he said.

To this, the bench said it could not stay the Election Commission order of February 6 by an interim order, and the petitioner has to come up with some broad parameters.

Justice Kant said, "Voters of India are very conscious, wise and politically active. They will vote looking at Sharad Pawar or Ajit Pawar."

"There is no confusion about the symbol as is being projected. The decision of ECI is very clear on which is the real NCP," Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Ajit Pawar faction, said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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