The Eknath Shinde-led faction is the official Shiv Sena as per the Election Commission, which on February 17 recognised the faction as the real Shiv Sena and ordered allocation of the ‘bow and arrow’ poll symbol to it. The faction led by Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray approached the Supreme Court on Monday challenging the decision.
The EC’s decision has given a heavy blow to Thackeray, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the outfit in 1966.
WHAT THACKERAY SAID?
Soon after the EC decision, Thackeray called on all parties to be cautious, stating that what has happened to Shiv Sena, could happen to them. He asked all parties to keep their eyes open and be cautious. “You want my father’s face, but not his son. I was ready to come along. If you ditch me when I wanted to implement a promise given to my father, what should I do?” he asked while targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Stating that he never wanted to be a Chief Minister, he said that the Congress and NCP asked him to take over because otherwise a government could not have been formed. He also mentioned that if the BJP had honoured the commitment given, both Shiv Sena and BJP would have got their Chief Ministers for two-and-a-half years each.
He said that some wanted to throw him out of his house and take it over. Stressing that his father groomed these people and Shiv Sainiks supported them, he said that these people now wanted to become owners and alleged that “our institutions are such that they have made a thief the owner of the house. What is happening in the country.”
Terming as “injustice” the EC’s decision, Thackeray said that it was dirty politics. He said that if any one wanted to against Shiv Sena, they could have come on the poll field and let people decide.
WHAT SHINDE SAID?
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde said his faction was recognised and they received the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol due to the blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Addressing a Shivaji Jayanti function in Agra in Uttar Pradesh Sunday evening, he said getting the symbol was a victory of truth.
THE ELECTION COMMISSION
In an order on the six-month-old petition filed by Shinde, the three-member Commission said it had relied on the numerical strength of the party in the legislative wing, where the chief minister enjoyed the support of 40 of the 55 MLAs and 13 of the 18 Lok Sabha members.
After the party split into two, the Election Commission had frozen the bow and arrow symbol of the Shiv Sena and had allotted the ‘Two Swords and Shield symbol’ to the Eknath Shinde faction and the ‘flaming torch’ (mashaal) election symbol to Uddhav Thackeray faction for the bypoll in Andheri East assembly constituency in November last year. Till 1989, the Sena did not have a permanent poll symbol allotted by the Election Commission; it had been contesting polls on different symbols available then.
Before the Andheri East bypoll, the poll panel named Uddhav faction as Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and Shinde faction as Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena.
Shiv Sena split into two in 2022 forcing Uddhav Thackeray to resign as Chief Minister of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. Shinde joined hands with rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a government in Maharashtra and appointed BJP leader and former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis as deputy CM.