The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the response of Janata Dal (United) leader Ramachandra Prasad Singh on a plea by K Rajasekaran, the newly-appointed President of Sharad Yadav faction of the party, against the poll panel’s order on the allotment of the ‘Arrow’ symbol.
Justice Indermeet Kaur issued notice in the matter to the Election Commission (EC) and Singh, JD(U) MP in Rajya Sabha, on Rajasekaran’s plea which also challenges the Election Commission’s finding that the faction led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the real JD(U).
The EC counsel said since it has passed a reasoned order on November 25 supporting its decision, it would not be filing a reply in the matter, which the court listed for hearing on February 19.
The lawyers for Singh argued that Rajasekaran was not a party in the case when it was before the EC. They also said that the Yadav faction had on November 23 withdrawn their earlier plea on the same issue.
To this, senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Nizam Pasha, appearing for Rajasekaran, said the earlier plea was withdrawn as the poll panel had not given reasons for its decision in its earlier order of November 17.
Kumar and Yadav had parted ways after the former had decided to join hands with the BJP in July, triggering a battle for the control of the party.
The Sharad Yadav faction had earlier moved the high court against the EC’s November 17 order which had ruled in favour of Kumar’s faction with regard to which group was the real JD(U), but the poll panel had not given reasons for arriving at the decision. The poll panel gave a reasoned order on November 25.
Rajasekaran, in his plea, has sought the setting aside of the November 25 order of the EC.
The earlier plea was moved by Gujarat MLA Chottubhai Vasava, who was then the acting president of the Yadav faction of the JD(U).
Kumar’s faction had told the court that its members have already filed nominations with the ‘Arrow’ symbol as the EC had ruled in their favour.
Following the rift with Kumar, Yadav had claimed that by ending the alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD and deserting the greater ‘grand alliance’, Kumar had gone against the party’s national executive’s decision to oppose the BJP.
As the rift widened, Yadav held a ‘national executive’ conclave of the JD(U) here where Vasava was appointed the acting president.
Vasava, who is also the Gujarat unit party chief and a six-term MLA, had approached the ECI staking claim over the party and its poll symbol ‘Arrow’. Yadav has all along maintained that the faction led by him was the real JD(U).
The EC, in its November 17 order, had said the group led by Kumar “has demonstrated overwhelming majority support” in the legislature wing as well as the majority in the national council of the party, which is the apex organisational body of the JD(U).
However, Vasava’s counsel had contended that the EC had relied on the “disputed” election of the national council and said that the party led by Yadav was the real JD(U).