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EC Freezes Shiv Sena’s “Bow and Arrow” Symbol ahead of Andheri By-poll

Both the Thackeray and Shinde factions can't use the name "Shiv Sena" or the symbol

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: The Election Commission of India (EC) on Saturday suspended Shiv Sena’s “Bow and Arrow” symbol ahead of the Andheri by-election scheduled for November 3 to fill the vacancy left by Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke’s death.

The Shiv Sena has fielded Latke’s spouse, Rutuja, while the BJP has fielded BMC’s former corporator, Murji Patel, who was disqualified from corporatorship by the Bombay High Court in April 2019 for his failure to submit a caste certificate in support of his claim that he belonged to the Other Backward Class. The last date for filing nominations is October 14.

The breakaway group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has not fielded a separate candidate but has approached the EC demanding that the Uddhav Thackeray faction be restrained from using the “bow and arrow” symbol. Similarly, the Maharashtra Election Commission had sought clarification from the Election Commission of India about the status of both the factions.

On Saturday, the EC passed an interim order directing both the Thackeray and Shinde factions not to use the name “Shiv Sena” or the symbol “bow and arrow” in the Andheri East bypoll till the matter is finally decided.

The Election Commissioner, Anup Chandra Pandey, and the Chief Election Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, in their order stated: a) Neither of the two groups led by Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde (Petitioner) nor the other led by Uddhav Thackeray (Respondent) shall be permitted to use the name of the party “Shiv Sena”. b) Neither of the two groups may use the “Bow & Arrow” symbol, which is reserved for the “Shiv Sena.” Both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, including, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party “Shiv Sena.” c) Both the groups shall also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the EC for the purposes of the current by-election.

Accordingly, both the groups are hereby directed to furnish, by 01:00 PM on October 10 : (i) the names of their groups by which they may be recognised by the Commission and give three options of names in order of preference, any of which may be approved by the Commission; and (ii) the symbols which may be allotted to the candidates set up, if any, by the respective groups. They may indicate the names of three free symbols in the order of their preference, any of which may be allotted to their candidates by the Commission.

Ironically, the EC continued to refer to the Shiv Sena as “a recognised party in the State of Maharashtra” in its deliberations. Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said that lakhs of affidavits supporting the “original Shiv Sena” have been filed before the EC. It is surprising how the EC can decide the matter within four hours even without verifying the documents already filed. Deepak Kesarkar of the Shinde faction said that this is a temporary order and his faction will eventually win the battle.

The Congress and the NCP have decided to support the candidate of the Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena, their coalition partner in the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

Shinde had raised a banner of revolt against Thackeray for entering into an “unnatural alliance” with the Congress and NCP. More than 40 of the Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs had supported Shinde, forcing the resignation of Thackeray from the post of Maharashtra chief minister on June 29. The dispute is pending in the Supreme Court.

Also Read: SC Allows EC to Decide Plea by Eknath Shinde Faction for Real Shiv Sena Tag


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  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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