Election Commission allots new names to Uddhav Thackeray, Eknath Shinde factions of Shiv Senatext_fields
New Delhi: The two factions of Shiv Sena - led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray - have been allotted new names and symbols ahead of the coming by-election in Mumbai's Andheri (East) constituency. The measure is interim and will last till the poll body takes a call on the "Who is the real Sena" question.
Shinde's faction has laid claim to the party's "bow and arrow" election symbol along with the legacy of founder Balasaheb Thackeray.
Yesterday, the Commission said the Uddhav Thackeray faction will be the Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray and its new party symbol will be the Mashaal (flaming torch). The Shinde faction will be called Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (Balasaheb's Shiv Sena). The symbol could not be allotted today as the Commission rejected the options the faction provided.
Earlier, the Gada (mace) and the Trishul (trident), proposed by both factions, were rejected. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar is said to have taken a tough stand against the allocation of symbols with religious connotations to political parties.
The allocation of fresh names took place after the poll body froze the bow and arrow symbol on Saturday.
Shinde had written to the Commission on Thursday, demanding that the faction led by Thackeray not be allowed to use the symbol in the by-polls.
Uddhav Thackeray challenged the freeze in the Delhi High Court, contending that the EC's decision was taken without hearing their version, which was "against principles of natural justice".
"The freezing of the symbol by ECI is actuated by malice in law. No candidate from the group led by Eknath Shinde is contesting the said election," his petition read.
Yesterday, the Thackeray faction expressed satisfaction over the allotment.
"We are happy that the three names that matter to us most - Uddhav ji, Balasaheb, and Thackeray - have been retained in the new name," Thackeray loyalist and former Maharashtra minister Bhaskar Jadhav said.
The Shinde camp declared that the EC choice for their faction was an open acknowledgement of their claims.
"Finally the victory of the strong Hindutva views of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. We are the inheritors of Balasaheb's thoughts," tweeted Shinde.
The Sena versus Sena saga started in June when Shinde led 48 MLAs in a BJP-backed coup against then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, bringing down his coalition government. Shinde then formed a new government with the BJP. The tussle now is for the party name, election symbol and the legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray, party founder and father of Uddhav Thackeray.