Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde’s faction of Shiv Sena on Tuesday submitted three choices for party symbol to the Election Commission of India, the Hindustan Times reported. This comes a day after former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray’s submission of new party symbol and name got clearance from the EC. According to the report, sun, sword and shield, and pipal tree are said to be the submitted choices.
The EC on Monday allotted the name Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) to the Thackeray faction and the faction led by Shinde was allotted the name Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena. The EC also allotted ‘flaming torch’ (mashaal) election symbol to Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), rejecting their claim to the ‘Trishul’ citing religious connotation. Both the groups expressed satisfaction after the Election Commission allotted them new names which mention “Balasaheb” (Thackeray).
“We are happy and satisfied that we have got the symbols and names as per the suggestions given by us,” said Vinayak Raut, a party MP from the Thackeray faction, the IE reported. On the name allocation to the Shinde faction, Raut said, “They cannot do anything without using Balasaheb’s name. In fact, whatever they have is because of Balasaheb. I dare them to use the names of Modi or Shah, and win. They are just a front, the actual party behind them is the BJP. The Shinde faction is just a puppet of the BJP.”
These developments are taking place ahead of the bypoll in Mumbai’s Andheri on November 3. The Congress and the NCP on Monday extended their support to the candidate picked by Uddhav Thackeray for the upcoming bypoll, making it a contest between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the ruling BJP-Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena alliance.
Shinde had rebelled against Thackeray’s leadership, claiming the support of 40 of the Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs and 12 of its 18 members in the Lok Sabha. Following Thackeray’s resignation as chief minister of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition, Shinde became chief minister with the support of the BJP.
Murji Patel is likely to be the nominee of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Shinde faction, which shares power with BJP in the state, has yet to clarify its position on contesting the bypoll, necessitated by the death of Ramesh Latke.