Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the Election Commission is supposed to treat everyone equally, but the way the dispute between two rival factions of the Shiv Sena was handled showed how it can be misused. Pawar, who has been campaigning for Congress and NCP candidates for Kasba and Chinchwad Assembly bypolls in Pune region, was addressing a congregation of minority communities in the Kasba Peth area.
The Election Commission of India last week recognized the Eknath Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena and allotted it the partys bow and arrow symbol.
“Pune is a city that believes in maintaining unity. When there are elections, be it Congress, NCP, or Samajwadi Party, all these parties take everyone along. But we have been seeing for a long time that there is one political outfit that attacks brotherhood in society, and it is our duty to fight the election together against such people and ideology,” he said.
Parties which do not accept the BJPs leadership are subjected to harassment, he alleged.
“Differences and conflicts do take place between political parties. But there are some institutions that are supposed to treat everyone the same way. Some days ago, the election commission gave some decision. The EC organizes elections in the country and protects all sections. We have now seen an example of how this institution can be misused,” he said.
Never before the poll body had taken away the control of a political party from someone and handed it over to someone else, the former Union minister said. “Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder of the Shiv Sena, in his last days gave the reins of the party to Uddhav Thackeray. But some people complained to the EC, and the EC gave this decision (to hand over the partys control to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde),” he said.
“It has happened because those who have power want a favourable situation, and these are the kind of decisions we are seeing coming from the Election Commission or other institutions,” he said.
“Today, organizations and people working under the leadership of (prime minister Narendra) Modi ji think that the countrys power should be vested in their hands and everything should take place as per their will and it is the minority sections who have to pay the heavy price,” the NCP chief said.
Referring to the MCD elections in Delhi, Pawar said the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party won the majority but the mayoral election was not allowed to take place for three months. “Today the Supreme Court ordered the government to hold the mayoral election, and the BJP had to face defeat in that election,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)