"Copy-Paste Of Shiv Sena Order": Supriya Sule On NCP Ruling By Maharashtra Speaker

An "invisible power" was trying to finish off the NCP and Shiv Sena, both important Maharashtra-based parties, she alleged.

'Copy-Paste Of Shiv Sena Order': Supriya Sule On NCP Ruling By Maharashtra Speaker

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP on Thursday said Maharashtra assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar's decision holding the faction led by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar to be the real Nationalist Congress Party was "ridiculous" and "copy-paste" of his ruling in the Shiv Sena case.

An "invisible power" was trying to finish off the NCP and Shiv Sena, both important Maharashtra-based parties, she alleged.

"What can you expect from Narwekar? His decision is laughable and copy-paste of what he has done in the case of Shiv Sena where the factions led by chief minister Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray had filed disqualification petitions. An invisible power is actively trying to finish off Shiv Sena and NCP, two important state-based parties," the Baramati MP told reporters.

"We do not have to be so naive (to expect a different result). The entire country is being run by bypassing rules, laws and constitutional norms," Ms Sule, the daughter of NCP founder Sharad Pawar, said.

On Mr Narwekar's observation that the anti-defection provisions in the Constitution's tenth schedule should not be used to suppress internal dissent, Ms Sule said, "The invisible power dictates, that is how the Speaker's office functions and goes with a copy-paste decision."

She also referred to BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy's letter to BJP president J P Nadda, claiming that it shows "which party conducts internal elections and which one indulges in suppressing dissent."

Sunil Tatkare, Maharashtra president of the NCP, expressed happiness over the ruling, saying that the decision taken under Ajit Pawar's leadership last year (to join the Shiv Sena-BJP government) was upheld by the Speaker.

"We are happy with the decision. The Speaker has studied the constitution and given his verdict," he said.

On Ms Sule's comments, Mr Tatkare said, "Some people have become frustrated.... After the 2014 assembly polls, the NCP had given support to the BJP from outside. In 2016-17, the party had decided to join the government with the BJP.

A discussion was held within the party and all the 53 MLAs had supported it. This process of joining the (BJP) government was going on for a long time." As many as 43 MLAs were with Ajit Pawar when he joined the state government, he noted.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray criticised the Speaker's decision, saying it was on expected lines.

"Those who formed the NCP have nothing to do with it now. Those who ran away with the party are the new heads. The same decision was made in the Shiv Sena case. The Speaker was supposed to function as a tribunal, but the decision was not unexpected," the former state minister said.

Maharashtra cabinet minister and NCP veteran Chhagan Bhujbal said the Election Commission had already given a decision in favour of the Ajit Pawar-led faction, holding it to be the real NCP.

"It made our case (before the Speaker) stronger," he added.

MLA Jitendra Awhad, a Sharad Pawar loyalist, called the ruling is a mockery of democracy which will "make a mess of Maharashtra's politics." "Speaker's decision is exactly opposite of what law dictates. The ECI had termed Ajit Pawar's appointment on June 30 (as NCP president) illegal. How can this fact be ignored? Narwekar was supposed to function as quasi-judicial authority, but his actions can be seen as insult to his post," he said. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)