EC recognises Nitish faction as JD(U), allots party symbol 'arrow'

EC recognises Nitish faction as JD(U), allots party symbol 'arrow'

EC recognises Nitish faction as JD(U), allots party symbol 'arrow'

The Election Commission on Friday recognised the Nitish Kumar faction as the authentic Janata Dal (U) and allotted it the party's poll symbol "arrow," while dismissing the claim made by Sharad Yadav faction.

According to the EC, the Nitish faction  demonstrated "overwhelming majority support" in the legislature wing of the party as well as "a majority" in its apex body – the national council.

The poll panel's order came as a setback for Yadav and paved the way for Kumar-led faction to field candidates with JD(U)'s poll-symbol in the elections to the Gujarat assembly.

The EC rejected the petition submitted by Chhotubhai Amarsang Vasava, a legislator of the JD(U) in Gujarat, whom the faction led by Yadav last month declared as acting president of the party, replacing Kumar.

The poll panel applied the principle of majority support in the organisational and legislative wings, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in Sadlq Ali vs Election Commission of lndia and others.

Kumar's decision to end the JD(U)'s alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in July this year irked Yadav. The differences eventually resulted in a split within the JD(U).

The JD(U) faction led by Yadav had in August first moved the EC staking claim on the party's symbol "arrow". When the poll panel asked it to submit documents in support of its claim, Yadav-led faction sought four weeks time, stating that it would hold a national executive meeting of the party on September 17 followed by a meeting of the national council on October 8. The EC on September 27 conveyed to Yadav faction that it might move a fresh petition along with supportive documents.

Yadav faction on September 17 removed Kumar from the helm of the party and elected Vasava as its acting president. Vasava then moved the EC staking claim on the "arrow" symbol afresh.

Vasava claimed that the JD(U) national council consisted of 1,098 members and submitted individual affidavits by 450 committing support to him. Kumar-led faction claimed that the party's national council consisted of 195 members and submitted affidavits of support of 138 of them.

EC goes by proof

The EC accepted the claim of Kumar-led faction on the total number of members of the national council, going by the records it  submitted.

Vasava also provided affidavits of support by two out of 10 JD(U) MPs in Rajya Sabha. But Kumar faction filed affidavits from the party's two MPs in the Lok Sabha, seven out of 10 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, all the 71 MLAs and 30 MLCs of the party in Bihar. A party MLC from Maharashtra submitted affidavits of support to both the factions, the EC noted.

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