A day after the Election Commission (EC) froze the Shiv Sena name and its ‘bow and arrow’ symbol following dispute between the Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde factions, the Uddhav Thackeray faction gave a list of three names and symbols for the upcoming bye-election in Mumbai’s Andheri East, NDTV quoted sources in the EC.
‘Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray’ is the first choice for the name and ‘Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ is the second pick, they said.
In an interim order over the claims by the rival factions for control of the organisation, the EC had asked them on Saturday to suggest by Monday three different name choices and also as many free symbols for allocation to their respective groups.
Also read: EC bars Uddhav, Shinde camps from using Sena’s name, symbol
Reacting to the Commission’s order, the Uddhav Thackeray faction had called it an ‘injustice’, while the Shinde group termed it a “right decision”.
The poll body’s intervention comes months after an open rebellion in the Shiv Sena by Eknath Shinde and his loyalists, who joined hands with the BJP to form a new government. The rebels have been staking claim over the party, saying the Thackeray camp is a minority without popular support in the party.
As per the poll body’s interim order, both groups will now have to choose new names. They shall be allotted different symbols, which they may choose from the list of free symbols available.
“The Commission is duty bound to ensure that all electoral steps of the bye-election are free of any confusion and contradiction and thus its next step is necessarily agnostic to the possibility of either of the faction participating in the poll,” the interim order said.
The EC had earlier asked the rival groups to submit documentary proof on legislative and organisational support by August 8 to back their claims.
The deadline was extended to October 7 after the request of the Thackeray faction. On October 4, the Shinde faction had moved the EC seeking the allocation of the bow and arrow poll symbol in view of the Andheri East assembly by-election that was notified on Friday.
Sena factions accuse each other
“Khokewale traitors committed this shameless and vile act of freezing the name Shiv Sena and symbol,” Shiv Sena leader and former minister Aaditya Thackeray said, adding that the people of Maharashtra would not tolerate it. “We will fight and win. We are on the side of the truth. Satyamev Jayate!” he said in a tweet in Marathi.
Aaditya and other leaders of the Uddhav Thackeray faction have been accusing the rebels led by Shinde of committing treachery for the lure of “khoke” (boxes of cash).
Ambadas Danve, the Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council and a Thackeray loyalist, said that the poll body should have holistically taken a decision rather than passing an interim decision for the bypoll. “This is injustice,” he told the news agency PTI.
Also read: ‘Real’ Shiv Sena: SC allows EC to decide on Eknath Shinde group’s claim
On the other hand, Prataprao Jadhav, an MP from the Shinde camp, said that the EC has taken the “right decision”.
Uddhav Thackeray discarded the ideology of Sena founder Bal Thackeray and formed an alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, he said.