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In the likelihood of a split in the Samajwadi Party, the Election Commission may have to use its plenary powers to decide which of the rival groups is the real Samajwadi Party which can contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections under the symbol “cycle”.
For this, the Commission will have to undertake the long-drawn process of the ‘Rule of Majority and Numerical Strength’ envisaged in Paragraph 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
The decision of the Commission shall be binding on all the groups and conceived as a direction to the Returning Officer.
A three-judge Supreme Court Bench upholded the constitutionality of the test of majority in Sadiq Ali v. Election Commission of India.
This 1972 verdict dealt with a split in the Indian National Congress following differences over the choice of the Congress nominee for the office of the President of India.
In 1969, the Congress split into two groups — Congress ‘O’ and Congress ‘J’.
The EC had to use the test of majority to determine “which of the two groups was the recognised political party known as the Indian National Congress for the purpose of the Election Symbols Order”.