The Election Commission of India on Tuesday alloted the ‘Two Swords and Shield symbol’ to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena a day after the group was alloted ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) as the name for the group of the party.
Shinde faction had submitted ‘shining sun’, ‘shield and sword’ and ‘Peepul tree’ as its election symbol options to the Election Commission (EC) for the upcoming bypoll in Andheri East assembly constituency next month.
However, the ECI said that the symbols furnished by the Shinde faction are not from the list of free symbols as notified in the Commission.
Giving the reason for not allotting Sun/Surya/Sooraj as a symbol, the Election Commission said, “The Name of the symbol resembles with already reserved symbols ‘Sun (without rays)’ and ‘Rising Sun’ of recognized Political Parties namely ‘Zoram Nationalist Party’ (recognized party in the state of Mizoram) and ‘Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’ (recognized party in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry) respectively.”
“The Commission has decided to declare Do Talwarein aur Ek Dhal (Two Swords & Shield)’ to be a free symbol and allots it as the symbol to be allotted to the candidate set up, if any, by your group in the current bye-elections and till the final order is passed in the Dispute case number I of 2022,” the EC added in a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Whereas the ‘flaming torch’ (mashaal) election symbol was allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, rejecting their claim to the ‘Trishul’ citing religious connotation.
The Election Commission also allotted ‘ShivSena – Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ as the party name for the Thackeray faction Meanwhile, the ECI rejected ‘Trishul’ and ‘Gada’ (mace) as election symbols claimed by the two factions of the Shiv Sena, citing their religious connotation.
Moreover, the election body noted that the ‘Rising Sun’ election symbol sought by both factions was reserved for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The poll panel had earlier barred the group led by former Maharastra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and State Chief Minster Eknath Shinde from using the symbol “Bow and Arrow, reserved for “Shiv Sena, in the upcoming Andheri East bye-election on November 3.
A day after the Election Commission froze the ‘Bow and Arrow’ symbol of Shiv Sena barring both the rival factions in the party from using it in the upcoming Andheri East Assembly bypolls, the party president and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray lambasted the rival Shinde camp saying the “40-headed Ravana froze the bow of Lord Sri Ram”.
In a Facebook live, Thackeray said, “I did not expect this decision from the Election Commission. I believe in the judiciary. We will get justice. The 40-headed Ravana froze the bow of Lord Sri Ram. I am sad but angry because you stabbed your mother in the chest. Do not use Balasaheb’s name if you have guts.”
Eknath Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30 earlier this year. This came after a faction of Shiv Sena under Shinde shifted the alliance to Bharatiya Janata Party BJP from MVA.
Since then, Maharashtra has been witnessing a tussle between both the factions of Sena as to who is the real inheritor of the legacy of Bal Thackeray.