Nationalist Congress Party
PresidentAjit Pawar
Lok Sabha LeaderSunil Tatkare
Rajya Sabha LeaderPraful Patel
FounderSharad Pawar
P. A. Sangma
Tariq Anwar
Founded10 June 1999 (24 years ago) (1999-06-10)
Split fromIndian National Congress
Headquarters10, Bishmabhar Marg, New Delhi, India-110001
Colours  Pacific Blue
ECI StatusState Party[1]
Seats in Lok Sabha
1 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
1 / 245
Seats in State Legislative Assemblies
Indian states
41 / 288
7 / 60
1 / 81
Seats in Maharashtra Legislative Council
6 / 78
Number of states and union territories in government
2 / 31
Election symbol
Party flag

The Nationalist Congress Party is one of the state parties in India.[3][4] It refers to the Ajit Pawar faction after the 2023 split in the party when the SC granted the original party name and symbol to the Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar Faction). It was one of the major political parties in Maharashtra and was a recognised state party in Nagaland and Kerala. In July 2023, majority of the elected MLAs and MLCs of the party led by Ajit Pawar joined the National Democratic Alliance government, however, all MPs except two are[1][5] expected to remain loyal to Sharad Pawar. This caused a direct split between the Ajit Pawar-led faction and the founder and president Sharad Pawar who formed the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) after EC recognised the Ajit Pawar faction as the original party.[6]

The Nagaland state unit which was supporting the NDPP-BJP state government and the Jharkhand state unit of the party went with the Ajit Pawar-led NCP while the Kerala state unit of the party which was a part of the Left Democratic Front went with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP(SP).

Party formation and performance

The NCP was formed on 10 June 1999, by Sharad Pawar, P. A. Sangma, and Tariq Anwar after they were expelled from the Indian National Congress on 20 May 1999, for disputing the right of Italian-born Sonia Gandhi to lead the party.[7][8][9] When the NCP formed, the Indian Congress (Socialist) – Sarat Chandra Sinha party merged into the new party.[10]

Despite the NCP being founded on opposition to the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the party joined the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to form the government of Maharashtra in October 1999. In 2004, the party joined the UPA to form the national government led by Manmohan Singh. The NCP's leader, Sharad Pawar served as the Minister of Agriculture for both five-year terms of the Singh-led government. The party remained part of the Congress-led Maharashtra state government until 2014.[11] On 20 June 2012, P. A. Sangma left the NCP to contest the presidential election, which he lost.[12] In the April and May 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the UPA lost to the rival National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Narendra Modi and the NCP was out of government for the first time in ten years. The NCP broke its alliance with the Congress Party just before the October 2014 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections to contest them on its own.[13] In the assembly election the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the largest party and formed a minority government, initially with support from the NCP.

In April 2019, voting took place for the 48 Lok Sabha seats from Maharashtra. The Congress and NCP had a seat-sharing arrangement.[14] Similarly, despite their differences, the BJP and Shiv Sena once again contested the elections together under the NDA banner.[15][16] The election was another landslide victory for the NDA, with the BJP and Shiv Sena winning 23 and 18 seats, respectively, out of the total of the state's 48 Lok Sabha seats. The Congress Party won only one seat in the state whereas the NCP won five seats from its stronghold of western Maharashtra.[17]

During the October 2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections, the BJP–Shiv-Sena and NCP–Congress alliances remained intact for seat sharing. The BJP and Shiv Sena together gained the majority of seats in the assembly but could not form a government due to disagreements between the two parties. The BJP, with 105 seats, was far short of the 145 seats required to form a majority and declined to form a minority government. As a result, Shiv Sena started talks with the NCP and Congress to form a government. However, in a controversial move, on 23 November 2019, the BJP formed a government with support from the NCP, with Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister. This government collapsed three days later with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pawar resigning their respective positions. Finally, the NCP came back into power at the state level as part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition formed with Shiv Sena and the Congress. On 28 November 2019, the Governor of Maharashtra swore in Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Thackeray's cabinet included ministers from the NCP in key portfolios.[18][19]

However, this alliance lost power in June 2022 after a rebel faction led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde gathered the support of a majority of Sena MLAs and reestablished the previous Sena-BJP coalition.[20] Subsequently, on 20 July, NCP President Sharad Pawar dissolved almost all units of the party.[21]

Party symbol

The election symbol of NCP is an analogue alarm clock.[22][23] The clock is drawn in blue and has two legs and an alarm button. It is situated on a tri-coloured Indian flag.[24]

2023 split

Main article: 2023 Nationalist Congress Party split

See also: 2019 Maharashtra political crisis

In July 2023, Ajit Pawar, along with many of his supporters, left the Sharad Pawar-led NCP and joined the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP government as a Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.[25] This caused the NCP to split into two factions, with Ajit Pawar claiming in a letter to the Election Commission that he had been elected party president on June 30.[26] In his first meeting after the split, he expressed a desire to retain the party's symbol and name, urged Sharad Pawar to retire and give opportunities to new people, and criticised many of Sharad's decisions, including the formation of a government with the Shiv Sena instead of the BJP in 2019.[27] On 7 February 2024, The Election Commission Of India (ECI) awarded the party name and symbol to the faction headed by Ajit Pawar. The faction led by Sharad Pawar will be henceforth known as Nationalist Congress Party (SharadChandra Pawar)[28]

Electoral performance

General elections

Year Lok Sabha Seats
Seats won +/- Votes polled % of
State (seats)
1999 13th Lok Sabha 32
8 / 543 (1%)
Increase8 8,260,311 2.27%
  • Maharashtra (6)
  • Manipur (1)
  • Meghalaya (1)
2004 14th Lok Sabha 32
9 / 543 (2%)
Increase1 7,023,175 1.80%
  • Maharashtra (9)
2009 15th Lok Sabha 68
9 / 543 (2%)
Steady 8,521,502 1.19%
  • Maharashtra (8)
  • Meghalaya (1)
2014 16th Lok Sabha 36
6 / 543 (1%)
Decrease3 8,635,558 1.56%
  • Maharashtra (4)
  • Bihar (1)
  • Lakshadweep(1)
2019 17th Lok Sabha 35
5 / 543 (0.9%)
Decrease1 8,483,632 1.39%
  • Maharashtra (4)
  • Lakshadweep(1)

State Legislative Assembly elections

Year Vidhan Sabha term Seats
Votes polled +/- Seats
% of
Goa Legislative Assembly
2017 10 20,916 Increase 1
1 / 40 (3%)
2022 13 10,846 Decrease1
0 / 40 (0%)
Decrease 1.1%
Gujarat Legislative Assembly
2017 182 184,815 Decrease 1
1 / 182 (0.5%)
2022 2 76,949 Decrease 1
0 / 182 (0%)
Jharkhand Legislative Assembly
2019 7 63,320 Increase 1
1 / 81 (1%)
Kerala Legislative Assembly
2016 4 237,408 Steady
2 / 140 (1%)
2021 3 206,130 Steady
2 / 140 (1%)
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly
1999 10th Vidhan Sabha 223 7,425,427 Increase58
58 / 288 (20%)
2004 11th Vidhan Sabha 124 7,841,962 Increase13
71 / 288 (25%)
2009 12th Vidhan Sabha 113 7,420,212 Decrease9
62 / 288 (22%)
2014 13th Vidhan Sabha 278 9,122,285 Decrease21
41 / 288 (14%)
2019 14th Vidhan Sabha 125 9,216,919 Increase13
54 / 288 (19%)
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
2018 6 29,287 Decrease 1
1 / 60 (2%)

List of Rajya Sabha members

No. Name Date of Appointment Date of Retirement
1 Praful Patel 05-Jul-2022 02-Jul-2028

See also


1.^ Praful Patel from Rajya Sabha and Sunil Tatkare from Lok Sabha.


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  2. ^ "Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2014: Maharashtra State Election Dates, Results, News, Governors and Cabinet Ministers 2014". dna.
  3. ^ "Recognized Political Parties:ECI". 26 September 2018.
  4. ^ "NPP Becomes First Political Outfit from the Northeast to get Status of National Party". 7 June 2019.
  5. ^ "NCP Working Committee Approves Decision To Expel NCP Leaders Including Praful Patel And Sunil Tatkare". Punekar News. 6 July 2023. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
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  12. ^ "I have quit NCP, will contest presidential polls: PA Sangma". The Times of India. 29 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Congress-NCP announce seat-sharing for Maharashtra polls". 16 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Raj Thackeray, Dhananjay Munde in demand to campaign for Cong". April 11. PTI. 2019.
  15. ^ "Opinion Poll: BJP-Shiv Sena may lose 8 seats in Maharashtra, Congress-NCP to improve figures". No. March 23. New Nation. 2019.
  16. ^ "NCP will welcome BJP's decision to merge India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, says Maharashtra minister". 23 November 2020.
  17. ^ "| eSakal". Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Political drama has gripped the home state of Bollywood". No. 30 November 2019. The Economist. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Maharashtra: With 169 votes, Uddhav-led govt sails through Assembly floor test, BJP stages walkout". Indian Express. No. 30 November 2019. Indian Express newspapers. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  20. ^ "36 districts, 31 departments & 2-man cabinet: No expansion of Shinde govt for 3 weeks & counting". 22 July 2022.
  21. ^ "Sharad Pawar Dissolves All Units Of Party, Days After Shiv Sena Coup".
  22. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ "Symbols" (PDF). 2009.
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  26. ^ "Ajit Pawar moves Election Commission, says he was elected NCP president on June 30". The Hindu. 5 July 2023. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  27. ^ "From Ajit Pawar's speech: 'Stuck at DyCM, I also wish to lead state' to Sharad Pawar 'talking to BJP' several times". The Indian Express. 6 July 2023. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  28. ^ "Sharad Pawar faction gets new name day after Ajit camp declared 'real' NCP". Express News service. New Delhi. Retrieved 7 February 2024.