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Big relief for Sharad Pawar’s NCP: EC allows party to receive public donations ahead of Maharashtra assembly polls | India News

NEW DELHI: Election Commission (EC) on Monday accepted Sharad Pawar-led NCP’s demand to accept voluntary contributions from the public in view of the impending Maharashtra assembly elections.
Sharad Pawar‘s NCP-SCP, which was formed after senior Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar staged a vertical split in the NCP, has been allowed by the poll body to accept any amount of contribution voluntarily offered to it by any person or company.
Bharamati MP Supriya Sule, who also happens to be Sharad Pawar’s daughter, led an 8-member delegation of the party on Monday to meet the Commission at Nirvachan Sadan.
The party had requested the Commission to issue a communication or certificate recording the status of the party for the purpose of accepting voluntary contributions from the public.
ECI in its communication dated July 8, 2024, authorised the party to “accept any amount of contribution voluntarily offered to it by any person or company other than a government company” in compliance under Section 29 B and Section 29C of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which govern the contribution to all political parties.
The NCP was split in July last year after Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde government against the wishes of party founder Sharad Pawar. The faction led by Sharad Pawar had filed a plea seeking disqualification of Ajit Pawar and the eight MLAs.
Later on Supreme Court’s direction, Maharastra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar clarified that the Ajit Pawar faction, with the support of 41 MLAs, was the legitimate NCP. Sharad Pawar faction had only 12 MLAs.
Narwekar also underlined that there was no dispute over the NCP’s constitution as provided by both the Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions.
The EC had also recognised the faction led by Ajit Pawar, as the real NCP, giving it control over the party name and ‘clock’ symbol.
In its final order sent to both sides, the EC had said it had relied on the test of majority in the party’s legislative wing to decide the dispute over the party claim.
According to the EC order, the total number of MPs, MLAs and MLCs of the NCP was 81, of which 57 had supported Ajit Pawar and 28 had supported Sharad Pawar.

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