Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government on Friday announced an award in the name of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray.
Ten lakh rupees will be awarded annually in four different categories for doctors, NGOs and medical field workers from 2022-23.
Award will be given to people who work in medical field to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in the state, provide reproductive and child health innovative services, successfully implement family planning activities and implement innovative health programmes through public participation.
The announcement of the award in late Balasaheb Thackeray’s name is considered significant as both chief minister Ekanath Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray claim their factions as real Shiv Sena, which was founded by cartoonist turned politician Balasaheb Thackeray in 1966.
The coalition government of late Balasaheb Thackeray’s son Uddhav Thackeray collapsed in June after Shinde’s rebellion. Shinde led a revolt against Udhav Thackeray government leading to the collapse of the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Subsequently, the new Maharashtra government came to power and Eknath Shinde became CM after his ten-day rebellion toppled MVA government.
Further, Eknath Shinde faction made its claim with the election commission of India (ECI) in October on Shiv Sena’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol in view of the assembly by-poll in Maharashtra.
However, the ECI did not allot Shiv Sena’s symbol to either of the two factions. Both factions were provided new symbols during the by-poll.
ECI alloted the ‘Dau Talwarein aur Ek Dhal (Two Swords & Shield)’ symbol to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena after allotting it ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) as its name.
On the other hand, ‘flaming torch’ (mashaal) election symbol was allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena.
The Election Commission also allotted ‘ShivSena – Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ as the party name for the Thackeray faction.