The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Sharad Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party will continue to use the name “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar” and the “man blowing turha” symbol for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, reported Live Law.

A turha, also known as tutari, is a trumpet that is sounded to mark the entry of important individuals or at the beginning of significant events.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan also ordered that the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the party would be allowed to use the “clock” symbol for the polls. However, the party will be required to issue a public notice in newspapers, in English, Hindi and Marathi, clarifying that the use of the symbol is sub judice and that its use would be subject to adjudication.

The court said that the faction needs to make similar declarations in all election-related audio-visual advertisements and publicity material such as banners and posters.

The order came on a petition filed by Sharad Pawar challenging an Election Commission order on February 6 that had recognised the Ajit Pawar-led faction as the real Nationalist Congress Party and allocated it the party’s “clock” symbol.

The poll panel had also allowed Sharad Pawar’s faction to use the name “Nationalist Congress Party – Sharadchandra Pawar” for the February 27 elections to six Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra.

Sharad Pawar had appealed to the Supreme Court on February 16 for an urgent hearing of his petition challenging the Election Commission’s order.

On February 19, the Supreme Court allowed the faction to use the name “Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar” even after the Rajya Sabha polls.

In the last hearing on March 14, the Supreme Court asked the Ajit Pawar-led faction to give an undertaking that it will not use party founder Sharad Pawar’s name and images on posters.

The court also verbally remarked that Ajit Pawar’s party may use a symbol other than the “clock” for the elections, so as to prevent any confusion in distinguishing between the two rival factions.

In July last year, Ajit Pawar, along with several party MLAs had joined Maharashtra’s coalition government comprising the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. After joining the coalition, Ajit Pawar became the deputy chief minister of the state.

The move led to a split in the Nationalist Congress Party, with one faction supporting Sharad Pawar and the other backing his nephew Ajit Pawar.