EC invokes 'test of majority' rule

EC invokes 'test of majority' rule

Going by the 1971 Supreme Court ruling based on “test of majority” to settle the Indian National Congress dispute, the Election Commission recognised the Akhilesh Yadav-led faction as the real Samajwadi Party.

“If the number of seats secured by a political party or the number of votes cast in favour of the candidates of a political party can be a relevant consideration for the recognition of a political party, one is at a loss to understand as to how the number of seats in the Parliament and state legislatures held by the supporters of a group of the political party can be considered to be relevant,” the Supreme Court had then said.

The dispute in the Congress party arose in 1969 following the expulsion of Indira Gandhi.
The group led by Akhilesh furnished documentary proof claiming support of 205 of the 228 MLAs, 56 out of the 68 MLCs, 15 out of the 24 MPs, 28 out of the 46 national executive members and 4716 out of the 5731 delegates.

The commission also went by its decision in January 1996 over the dispute of the Telugu Desam Party, where it applied the same “test of majority” rule to grant the party symbol to the faction lead by Chandrababu Naidu against the one under its founder N T Rama Rao.
The same rule was applied in 2004 to recognise the Nationalist Congress Party under Sharad Pawar’s leadership.

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