K Rajasekaran, the newly appointed President of the Sharad Yadav faction of Janata Dal (United), today moved the Delhi High Court challenging an Election Commission order rejecting their claim to the ‘Arrow’ symbol. Justice Indermeet Kaur adjourned the matter till tomorrow as the senior lawyer who was to represent Rajasekaran was not available today. The JD(U) leader has challenged the November 25 order of the poll panel giving reasons for recognising the faction led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the real JD(U) and allotting the ‘Arrow’ symbol to it. Kumar and Yadav had parted ways after the former 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 EC. The earlier plea was moved by Gujarat MLA Chottubhai Vasava, who was the then acting president of the Yadav faction of the JD(U). Vasava’s lawyer had told the court that the first phase of filing nominations for the Gujarat polls has got over and the second phase would be completed in another 10 days. So, it has to be decided before that as to who will use the symbol in the upcoming elections, Vasava had contended in his plea. 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 ECI, 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).