Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar remarked on the loss of the “bow and arrow” symbol of his ally Uddhav Thackeray’s faction on Friday, stating that it would not have any major impact. He also stressed that the people would accept the new symbol.
Pawar’s remarks came after the Election Commission of India (ECI) ordered that the party name “Shiv Sena” and the party symbol “Bow and Arrow” be given to the Eknath Shinde faction. The NCP chief asked Thackeray to accept the Election Commission‘s decision and adopt a new symbol.
“It’s the decision of the Election Commission.” Once a decision is made, there can be no discussion. Accept it and adopt a new symbol. The loss of the old symbol will have little impact because people will accept the new symbol. “It would just be discussed for the next 15 to 30 days, and that’s it,” Pawar explained. He recalled the Congress having to change its symbol from two bullocks with a yoke to a hand and said that the people would accept the new symbol of the Uddhav Thackeray faction like they accepted the Congress’ new symbol.
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“I remember Indira Gandhi also facing this situation. Congress used to have a “two bullocks with a yoke” symbol. Later, they abandoned it in favour of the “hand,” which was widely accepted as a new symbol. “Similarly, people will accept the new symbol (of the Uddhav Thackeray faction),” he said.
In a major setback to the Uddhav Thackery faction of Shiv Sena, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday allotted the party name “Shiv Sena” and the symbol “Bow and Arrow” to the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
While the Shinde faction welcomed the decision of being recognized as the real Shiv Sena, the Uddhav Thackeray faction said they will move to the Supreme Court. Earlier, the Eknath Shinde faction burst crackers and celebrated in Nashik today after the Election Commission order.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction accused the Election Commission of haste and said the decision shows “it works as BJP agent”. The Commission observed in its order that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party is undemocratic and has been “mutilated to undemocratically appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all”. It said such party structures fail to inspire confidence.
Calling the poll panel’s decision a “murder of democracy”, Uddhav Thackeray said he will approach the Supreme Court against the decision. “They should first understand Balasaheb. They have come to know that ‘Modi’s face does not attract people in Maharashtra anymore so they have to put Balasaheb’s mask on their face for their own benefit. I had said that ECI should not give a decision before the SC verdict. If the party’s existence is decided based on the number of MLAs and MPs, any capitalist can purchase MLA, MP and become CM,” Uddhav Thackeray said at a press conference.
He said they have the support of people and will go to them. “We will surely go to the Supreme Court against this EC order. We are sure that the SC will set aside this order,” Thackeray said. Shiv Sena was formed by Uddhav Thackeray’s father Balasaheb Thackeray.