The Sharad Pawar and P A Sangma factions of the Nationalist Congress Party on Friday crossed swords before the
Election Commission, both laying claim to the party symbol -- a clock.
Pawar, Sangma and Tariq Anwar had split from the Congress on the issue of party president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins in 1999.
While Pawar recently tied up with Gandhi again for the coming elections, Sangma has floated an independent group and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
The Sangma group has argued that since Pawar has given up his opposition to a person of foreign origin holding the prime minister's office, he no longer deserves to head the NCP. For, that was the issue on which the party was formed.
The Pawar group on the other hand has pointed out that there was never any mention of Sonia Gandhi or her foreign origins in the party's constitution and that the NCP always stood for fighting communal forces.
"Ideology is the foundation of the NCP and this cutting edge resulted in parting company with the Congress," Parag Tripathi, senior Supreme Court lawyer representing Sangma faction, told the three-member panel.
The Sangma faction has said that while Maharashtra unit of the party seems to be supporting Pawar, the entire Northeast, including Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya, is with Sangma.
The commission has not fixed any date when it would give it's verdict.