The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction on Monday got 'flaming torch' (mashaal) election symbol from the Election Commission rejecting the party's claim to the 'Trishul' citing religious connotation.
The Thackeray faction had suggested three names and symbols after the Election Commission froze Shiv Sena name and bow and arrow symbol. Notably, the party in the past had contested elections on various symbols including railway engine, torch, sun and bat and ball. In the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, Shiv Sena had received the bow and arrow symbol and since then the party had contested all elections on that symbol.
In the 56 years of Shiv Sena's history, the party has seen many ups and downs. Shiv Sena was formed in 1966 and in the second year in 1967 it contested the first Thane municipal election and then in 1968 the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation poll. At that time, Shiv Sena had entered the election arena on the symbol shield and sword.
In the 1980s, the Shiv Sena got the symbol of a Railway Engine in the Lok Sabha and the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections. A veteran leader Manohar Joshi contested the Lok Sabha elections in 1978 and some Shiv Sena candidates including Subhash Desai contested on the Railway Engine symbol.
In 1985, Shiv Sena candidates were given different symbols in the assembly elections. Some of the symbols included torch and bat ball. At that time, Chhagan Bhujbal was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Mazgaon Constituency with Torch as his symbol.
Interestingly, as the Shiv Sena was not a registered or recognized political party at that time, Bhujbal was an independent MLA on the record of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Secretariat.
Shiv Sena used to get the same symbol in municipal or municipal elections. When the Shiv Sena won power in the BMC in 1985, its symbol was ‘bow and arrow. ‘’ All Shiv Sena candidates were then elected on the bow and arrow symbol, said then Girgaon corporator Dilip Naik.
Bow and arrow symbol in 1989
Shiv Sena got the bow and arrow symbol in 1989. The Election Commission had instructed all political parties to register. Then Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray held a meeting of all the leaders and discussed the registration.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai recalled that ‘’Manohar Joshi, myself and Vijay Nadkarni went to New Delhi and completed the entire process of registration of Shiv Sena with the Election Commission which then allotted the ‘bow and arrow' symbol to the Shiv Sena. In the 1989 Lok Sabha elections, four Shiv Sena MPs were elected. Shiv Sena had fulfilled the criteria of the Election Commission. Because Shiv Sena's percentage of votes was more than the Election Commission's criteria. The bow and arrow symbol remained with the Shiv Sena.’’Shiv Sena was able to use the bow and arrow symbol in the 1990 assembly elections, he added.
Further, Desai said that Shiv Sena has never looked back since then.