Bow and Arrow Shivsena symbol frozen by the ECI

The ongoing fight between CM Eknath Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray to claim control of the Shivsena party and its election symbol – Bow and Arrow – has landed both in hot waters.

With one eye on by-polls in Mumbai, CM Eknath Shinde’s group made an application to the Election Commission of India for claiming the name and symbol of the party Shivsena, on the basis that most (and the required number of) elected members of the party are with him.

On the other hand, Uddhav Thankeray and his group have also been claiming to be the rightful owners of both the party name Shivsena and its election symbol – Bow and Arrow.

In light of the urgency of by-polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday passed an interim order restraining both Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde camps from using the ‘ShivSena’ party name and the bow and arrow symbol until the poll body decides which among the two rival factions can actually lay claim to the party name and symbol.

The restriction as ordered in the interim order will apply for the upcoming by-polls in the State.

The order stated the following:

“a) Neither of the two groups led by Sh. Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde (Petitioner) and other led by Sh. Uddhav Thackeray (Respondent) be permitted to use the name of the party “Shivsena” simplicitor;

  1. b) Neither of the two groups shall also be permitted to use the symbol “Bow & Arrow”, reserved for “Shivsena’.”

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey passed the interim order.

As per the interim order, both groups can choose party names they desire in the interim including names related to their original party ‘Shivsena’.

“Both the groups shall also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purposes of the current bye-elections,” the interim order further said.

Also read: Maharashtra Crisis: Rebel Eknath Shinde claims 40 MLAs with him

For the uninitiated, Eknath Shinde who was once a minister in the Uddhav ministry decided to challenge the CM and majority of ShivSena MLAs decided to support him. They joined hands and withdrew their support to then Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray leading to the fall of the Thackeray government.

Subsequently, Eknath Shinde was sworn in as CM with the support of the BJP.

Last week, in a show of their political capital and muscle power, both camps organised pooja rallies where lakhs of followers attended. Later both sides claimed their respective crowds to be bigger than the other.

Uddhav’s brother and his (late brother’s wife) sister-in-law attended Eknath Shinde camp’s rally.

When reporters put to Uddhav Thackeray group’s spokesperson that the cameras showed Eknath Shinde camps’ crowds to be a lot bigger, he claimed Shinde camp’s crowed display was stage managed.

The fight is not over yet.

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