The Election Commission today banned the Shiv Sena factions, led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, from using the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol in the upcoming elections. This decision was taken four months after Eknath Shinde stripped the number of Shiv Sena from the Maharashtra council to replace Uddhav Thackeray as Minister.
In the interim order of the voting body, both groups will now have to choose new names. They will be allocated different symbols, which they can choose from a list of available free symbols.
Both factions will now have to use a different name and symbol in the upcoming bye elections in Mumbai’s Andheri East.
The committee had previously asked rival groups to submit documentary evidence of legislative and organizational support by August 8 to support their claims.
The deadline was extended to 7 October following Thackeray’s request. On October 4, the Shinde faction turned over the Election Commission seeking to allocate the bow and arrow symbol for the Andheri East council by-election announced on Friday.
The Thackeray faction submitted its response to the claim on Saturday and has sought an additional four weeks to dig into documents submitted by the opponents.
Since the split in June, both factions have accused the other of defiling Bal Thackeray’s legacy.
At the big meeting in Dussehra this week, Mr. Shinde said: “Do you have any moral right to stand and speak there? You used Shiv Sainiks for your personal reasons and went ahead of Congress and the NCP. … Balasaheb Thackeray used to run the government on remote control and you gave this remote control to the NCP”.
Mr Thackeray, who organized another protest at the traditional site of Shivaji Park, accused Mr Shinde of being a “traitor” who was trying to control the party out of “greed”.