New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday recognised the Janata Dal (United) group owing allegiance to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar as the rightful claimant to the party’s arrow symbol.
The poll watchdog’s ruling came on a case in which Gujarat politician Chotubhai Vasava, part of the JDU group led by former party president Sharad Yadav, was the petitioner and Kumar and others were respondents.
EC’s decision was based on the “principle of test of majority support in the organisational and legislative wings” of the party. It considered written and oral submissions by both groups.
“The respondent group led by Nitish 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 level organisational body of the party,” the EC’s order said.
With Gujarat assembly elections scheduled next month, the EC heard the case on an urgent basis. Both JDU groups want to contest the polls and were staking a claim to the symbol. The party split after Kumar’s decision to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party and form a government in Bihar by parting ways with former allies Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal in July.
In September, EC had disposed of an application by Yadav staking claim to the JDU’s electoral symbol, citing a lack of documents to support the claim.