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NCP split: Verdict on disqualification plea will be out by Feb 15, says Narwekar

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Mumbai, Jan 29 (PTI) The hearing on the disqualification plea related to the split in the Nationalist Congress Party is over and it will be closed for order on January 31, Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar said on Monday.

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The NCP 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.

Asked on the issue, Narwekar said, "The hearing is over and it will be closed for order on January 31. As requested, the Supreme Court has given an extension to give verdict by February 15. I can assure that it will be out by then." The Supreme Court on Monday extended the deadline for Narwekar to decide the Sharad Pawar faction's plea seeking disqualification of NCP MLAs belonging to the bloc led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar till February 15.

The top court had on October 30 last year directed the speaker to decide the petition of Jayant Patil of the Sharad Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) seeking disqualification of the nine MLAs of the Ajit Pawar group by January 31.

During a brief hearing on Monday, a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the request of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the speaker, seeking three more weeks for passing the order on the disqualification plea.

Mehta told the apex court the cross-examination of the respondents would be over by January 31 and prayed for three weeks more to be granted for passing the order. PTI ND BNM BNM

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