Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Monday, gave an extension until February 15 to Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar to deliver his verdict on the disqualification of MLAs from the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The initial deadline of January 31, set on October 30, was extended after Narwekar requested more time.
The court’s directive followed petitions from the Sharad Pawar faction of the NCP, urging the Supreme Court to intervene and instruct the speaker to decide on the disqualification pleas against the Ajit Pawar faction. These petitions invoked the tenth schedule of the Constitution.
Solicitor General’s Plea For Extension
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Narwekar, cited the speaker’s engagement in addressing disqualification petitions of Shiv Sena MLAs. Mehta requested a realistic three-week extension to allow Narwekar to give a verdict on the NCP matter.
About Rift In NCP
The fracture within the NCP arose when a section led by Ajit Pawar aligned with the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition in the Maharashtra government. Subsequently, Ajit Pawar assumed the role of the state’s deputy chief minister, with eight other NCP MLAs becoming ministers. In response, the Sharad Pawar faction initiated a disqualification petition against them.
The Ajit Pawar faction, in defense, asserted its legitimacy as the “real” NCP, claiming majority support among party MLAs. Speaker Narwekar, in response to this claim, designated Ajit Pawar as the NCP legislative party leader in the assembly.