NCP Constitution ‘favours’ Ajit, Sharad Pawar can’t move SC

NewsNCP Constitution ‘favours’ Ajit, Sharad Pawar can’t move SC

Does the working committee of the NCP have the capacity to take action against any member who has rebelled against Sharad Pawar? The answer is ‘No’. There is no article, rule, or clause in the organizational constitution of the NCP that grants the so-called working committee the right to dismiss, expel, or suspend an appointed member or appointed office bearer. The constitution of the NCP is blind to who should be the supremo in case of any rebellion or events that may occur. 
Furthermore, if organizational elections do not take place, who will run the party? There is no any Article, Rule or Clause in the Constitution. According to the latest information provided on the ECI website, organizational elections have been due since May 2021. The last election took place in October 2015. In these circumstances, the so-called working committee of the NCP cannot make any decisions regarding the appointment or dismissal of any office bearer.
According to Article 21, Rules (ii), (iii), and (x), the working committee is the supreme body and can take actions defined in the constitution. However, there is no provision for ‘appointing office bearers’ to fill vacant posts due to reasons such as death, expulsion, resignation, or rebellion. According to Rule (iii) of Article 21, “The WC shall be the highest Executive Authority of the party and shall have the power to carry out the policies and the programmes laid down by the party and by the NC and shall be responsible to NC. It shall be the Final Authority in all matters regarding interpretation and application of the Provision of the Constitution.” 
According to the letter submitted by T.P. Peetambaran on 30 August 2018, only eight members were elected  on 10 October 2015, they were, Sharad Pawar, (President), Tariq Anwar (National Gen Secy), Praful Patel (National Gen Secy), D.P. Tripathi (National Gen Secy), Sunit Tatkare (National Gen Secy), Y.P Trivedi Natioanl Treasurer and S.R. Kohli (Permament Secretary). 
Among the above D.P. Tripathi died, Tariq Anwar left and Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare are with Ajit Pawar. Therefore, on Friday, Praful Patel claimed that the committee cannot make decisions regarding the appointment of office bearers due to a «flawed organizational structure». Praful Patel further said that the working committee does not have any power since most of the office bearers have been appointed rather than elected. The clause regarding the appointment of office bearers is not part of the party constitution that was submitted to the Election Commission of India. Article 29 of the party›s Constitution states that: «(i) The office of a delegate or a member of any Committee or Board constituted under this Constitution shall be vacated by resignation, removal, or death; (ii) All vacancies shall, unless otherwise provided for, be filled in the same manner in which the vacated member was chosen, and the member so elected shall hold office for the unexpired term of the seat vacated.»
Praful Patel told the media, «Elections have not taken place in the party for many years, and most of us are appointed and not elected. Thus, going by our own NCP constitution, they do not have any powers.» Patel also asserted that the NCP has not split, referring to it as intra-party differences. «The Supreme Court›s previous verdict also discusses splits and mergers and not intra-party differences. The SC verdict does not apply in this case.»
Regarding the issue of ‹Fraction,› Article 37 (iv) of the party›s constitution states, «Where there is a question of the value of fractions, a fraction of one-half or more shall be treated as one, and less than half as zero.» Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Chhagan Bhujbal, and others claim that more than 50% of party members are with them, making them the absolute ‹One,› while Sharad Pawar is ‹Zero.’ Ajit Pawar had submitted almost 40 MLAs’ affidavits to the Election Commission. Now it is for the ECI, not Sharad Pawar, to decide who will lead the NCP. 
Another strange fact is that if Sharad Pawar follows the constitution of his party, he cannot go before the court of Justice, the Supreme Court. This is laid down in the last section of Article 37 (viii) which says, «Any question of dispute arising under the constitution with regard to the provisions, contents, interpretations of the procedures laid down therein, between members and committees or between Committees inter se shall be determined by the appropriate authorities indicated in this Constitution, and the decision of such authorities shall be final and binding on all members and on all committees of the Nationalist Congress Party and shall not be liable to be questioned by any of them in any court of law.» This is the reason behind Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel›s high morale. They feel empowered by the majority and the constitution of the party.

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