'Eknath Shinde can't claim Shiv Sena's bow and arrow': Uddhav Thackeray files reply to ECI over party symbol fight

Uddhav's response comes after the EC asked the his faction to respond by Saturday (October 8) to the claim made by rival Eknath Shinde camp but Thackeray filed his response in advance.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Friday, October 07, 2022, 10:55 PM IST
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The Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena on the eve of Election Commission’s Communication asking it to submit its comments on a dispute about a recognised party has said that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who has himself appointed as Chief Leader, could not claim the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol as he and other MLAs on his side had “voluntarily" quit the party. The Thackeray faction’s reply was to the petition filed by Shinde camp while making its claim over the Shiv Sena’s poll symbol bow and arrow.

‘’Shinde and 39 other rebel MLAs have voluntarily quit the party and therefore cannot stake a claim on bow and arrow symbol,’’ said the Thackeray faction in its submission. Shiv Sena MP and Thackeray’s close confidant Anil Desai is in Delhi and is in the midst of making a compilation along with the legal team.

Thackeray faction will file affidavits of over 5 lakh party office bearers and members expressing their support. Thackeray’s counsel said their office has received 2.5 lakh affidavits and indexing is being done. Another three lakh affidavits are being prepared in the Shiv Sena Bhavan situated at Dadar.

Thackeray faction is expected to file all 5 lakh affidavits by next week.

Thackeray faction’s submission comes after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had urged the Election Commission to urgently allot the Shiv Sena's bow and arrow symbol to his faction in view of the coming by-election in Andheri East slated for November 3. The BJP will contest the seat on behalf of the ruling alliance. But Shinde has pointed out that the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Sena might use the symbol in absence of any decision by the poll body.

In his petition, Shinde said the symbol is necessary for the upcoming by-election and he has a concern that the Thackeray faction "will illegally and unlawfully make an attempt to field a candidate and claim the allotted symbol of SSPP". (Shiv Sena Political Party).

The Shinde faction also claimed that it also enjoys the overwhelming support of Sena leaders, deputy leaders, state sampark pramukhs, zilla sampark pramukhs, rajya pramukhs, secretaries, zilla pramukhs and the party’s elected members in the state legislature and Parliament as well as mayors and presidents of zilla parishads.

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