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ECI's decision conspiracy, victory of 'invisible power': Supriya Sule

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Sharad Pawar-led party's working president Supriya Sule

Supriya Sule (File photo)

Mumbai: NCP MP Supriya Sule on Tuesday dubbed the ECI's decision to recognise the Ajit Pawar faction as the real Nationalist Congress Party a "victory of invisible power" and a conspiracy against Maharashtra and Marathi people.

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The Election Commission of India also allotted the NCP symbol 'Wall Clock' to the group led by Ajit Pawar.

"The ECI's decision is the victory of the invisible power. This is a huge conspiracy against Maharashtra and Marathi people. However, I am not at all surprised by this decision," Sule, daughter of NCP founder Sharad Pawar, told reporters in New Delhi.

She also drew a parallel between the ECI's ruling in the Shiv Sena (undivided) case, referring to the poll body acknowledging the Eknath Shinde-led group as the real Sena after he rebelled against Uddhav Thackeray in 2022.

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"Both parties (the NCP and undivided Shiv Sena) were born in Maharashtra and led by Marathi people. This is one more example of how the invisible powers make decisions that would hurt the Marathi people and the state," said Sule.

She said the "conspiracy" hatched against the late Bal Thackeray's family is now replicated against Sharad Pawar.

"Pawar saheb started his political career without any legacy or background. The ECI's decision is not the truth. It is an injustice to the people of Maharashtra," Sule added.

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She said new names will be submitted to the ECI ahead of the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Maharashtra NCP president (Sharad Pawar group) Jayant Patil said they will challenge the ECI decision in the Supreme Court, which is the "last hope". He said the NCP was founded by Sharad Pawar who developed it from the grassroots and also helped many leaders grow in their political careers.

Sharad Pawar loyalist and former minister Jitendra Awhad also alleged the ECI decision was "managed" from the top.

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Queried on a huge number of affidavits filed before the ECI by both sides of the NCP ahead of the ruling, Awhad said, "The ECI exercise was a circus. It was pre-decided who would get the NCP name and symbol".

Targeting Ajit Pawar and other MLAs who sided with him, Awhad said he felt sad as those who enjoyed the fruits of Sharad Pawar's efforts to expand the NCP are now trying to "politically strangle" the veteran.

When asked about the future course of action, Awhad said, "Sharad Pawar is our party. He is our symbol and people of this state know him. There are many people in the state who are still firmly behind Pawar".

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He said it was Sharad Pawar who expanded the party base in other states as well.

"Who made him (Ajit Pawar) deputy chief minister (in erstwhile UPA and MVA governments)? Who made (Sunil) Tatkare the irrigation minister (in previous governments)? The answer is Sharad Pawar," he added.

Awhad also targeted senior leaders Dilip Walse Patil and Hasan Mushrif, who aligned with Ajit Pawar when he joined the Shiv Sena-BJP government last July, terming them as "opportunists".

"Sharad Pawar will rise as a proverbial phoenix bird. No one can paralyse him," he added.

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