ECI freezes Shiv Sena symbol, asks factions to pick new
Four months into the bifurcation, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has barred both Uddhav Thackerey and Eknath Shinde factions of the Shiv Sena from using the party's bow and arrow symbol in the upcoming by-election in Maharashtra. The interim order freezing the party's symbol came on Saturday night, following which both factions will now have to pick new names and symbols.
Why does this story matter?
- A political storm shook former Chief Minister Thackeray's government in June this year after a rebellion by his most loyal commander, Shinde.
- The latter took over 40 MLAs and allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a new government.
- Both factions now stake claim to being called the 'real' Sena and the true follower of founder Bal Thackeray's legacy.
The factions will now choose symbol from ECI's list
EC bars both Thackeray and Shinde factions from using party name Shiv Sena and its 'bow and arrow' poll symbol: Order— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) October 8, 2022
Election schedule declared on Friday
The notification on the by-election in Mumbai's Andheri East came on Friday, following which the Shinde faction sought allocation of the party's poll symbol. Earlier, the ECI asked both factions to submit documents by August 8 proving organizational and legislative support in favor of their claims. The deadline for submission was extended to October 7 at the request of the Thackerey faction.
Shinde faction not contesting by-election
It was speculated earlier that both Sena factions would contest the by-election to fill vacancies in the state Assembly. However, since the Shinde faction is not the by-poll race, the Thackerey faction questioned the ECI's rationale behind freezing the symbol. Meanwhile, the Shinde faction welcomed the ECI's order calling it "based on facts", which left the Thackerey faction disgruntled.
SC dismissed Thackerey faction's stay plea
The Thackerey faction on Saturday submitted documents bolstering its claim and asked for four more weeks to assess the documents submitted by the rival faction. The Thackerey fashion had moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on ECI proceedings in the matter of the 'internal' rivalry until petitions stemming from the state's political crisis are pending. However, the top court dismissed the plea.
Thackerey has no moral right: Shinde
Throwing barbs at Thackerey presiding over Shiv Sena's traditional Dussehra rally, Shinde questioned Thackerey's moral right to speak at the rally. Shinde blamed him for tarnishing Bal Thackerey's legacy by siding with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. On the other hand, Thackeray alleged that Shinde was a traitor trying to control the party for his own greed.