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NCP(SP) dares Ajit Pawar: Give up ‘Clock’ symbol if you have any self-respect

Mumbai: A day after the Supreme Court’s directives, the NCP(SP) slammed the rival NCP President, Ajit Pawar, in Mumbai on Wednesday, challenging him to give up the ‘Clock’ symbol.

Addressing the media, NCP(SP) Chief Spokesperson, Mahesh Tapase, said that Ajit Pawar’s NCP has been left red-faced by the top court’s verdict, and dared him to surrender the ‘Clock’ and contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections on a new poll symbol.

“Ajit Pawar colluded with the BJP to take the original NCP founded by Sharad Pawar. However, he failed to realise that the party cadres are still backing Sharad Pawar and NCP(SP),” said Mahesh Tapase.

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The NCP, founded by veteran leader Sharad Pawar 25 years ago, split vertically in July 2023 and in February, the Election Commission recognised the Ajit Pawar faction as the ‘real NCP’ and awarded him the name and its iconic ‘Clock’ symbol, and later the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker also passed a similar verdict.

“We have petitioned against this in the apex court and the final outcome is awaited. As an interim measure, we have been allotted the ‘Trumpeter’ symbol for the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.

“The Supreme Court has also directed that this symbol cannot be given to any other candidate or party and shall be reserved only for the NCP (SP),” he pointed out.

“The top court also ordered the Ajit Pawar faction to make a public declaration in its publicity materials that the matter of the use of the ‘Clock’ symbol is sub judice and is subject to the outcome of the NCP(SP)’s petition,” Mahesh Tapase added.

He said the top court has observed that the 10th Schedule of the Constitution is an important aspect in deciding cases pertaining to defections.

“In this context, not only are the apex court’s observations a huge setback for Ajit Pawar’s NCP, but also set boundaries for other factions who may harbour ambitions of indulging in illegitimate political defections with the help of the BJP,” Mahesh Tapase declared.

He reiterated, “If Ajit Pawar’s NCP is left with even one per cent self-respect then it should give up its claim on the ‘Clock’ and should contest future elections on a new symbol.”

Unfazed by the developments, the NCP is going ahead with the Lok Sabha election campaign on the ‘Clock’ symbol, and the NCP(SP) is canvassing with the ‘Trumpeter’ symbol.

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