INDIA. Mumbai: In one of the biggest jolts to Shiv Sena in its 57-year history, the Election Commission of India (EC) allotted the title “Shiv Sena” and a poll symbol of “Bow and Arrow” to the breakaway faction led by Eknath Shinde on Friday.
While dealing with the dispute (No. 1 of 2022), the EC noted in its final order issued on Friday, February 17, that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party was undemocratic. It was mutilated to undemocratically appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all. Such party structures fail to inspire confidence.
“The constitutions of political parties ought to provide for free, fair, and transparent elections to the posts of office bearers and a further free and fair procedure for the resolution of internal disputes.” “These procedures ought to be difficult to amend and should be amendable only after ensuring the larger support of the organisational members for the same,” the ECI said.
The EC ruled that the Shinde faction will get the official name “Shiv Sena” and the “bow and arrow” symbol of the party amid an ongoing tussle between the Shinde faction and the Uddhav Thackeray faction over these rights. The Shiv Sena was founded on June 19, 1966, by the late Shiv Sena patriarch, Balasaheb Thackeray.
The rebellion on June 20 last year, spearheaded by Shinde and supported by the BJP, resulted in the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray government on June 29,2022.
Since then, the two factions have been staking claims to the Shiv Sena name and the original symbol of the bow and arrow. The decision on the dispute pending in the Supreme Court is slated to be delivered on February 21.
Since the issue was pending with the EC, the bow and arrow symbol was frozen. For the Andheri Assembly bypoll, held in November last year, the two factions were allotted two different symbols: the Shinde faction received two swords and a shield, and the Uddhav faction received a flaming torch.
Reacting to the EC ruling against the Uddhav Thackeray faction, MP Sanjay Raut said the EC has lost credibility with the order and Uddhav’s faction will now challenge the decision in court.
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