Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday condemned the Election Commission of India's order to grant the Shiv Sena name and bow-arrow party symbol to the Eknath Shinde faction.
The EC last week ruled in favour of the Shinde faction, thus, delivering a huge blow to former CM Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena UBT.
The Thackeray group then challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court but a 3-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud issued a notice on a petition filed by Shiv Sena UBT and refused to put a stay on the EC's order which recognised Eknath Shinde faction as the official Shiv Sena.
"Never seen the Election Commision take away total control of one party," Pawar said.
"The Election Commission has provided the (Shiv Sena) party's name and emblem, which is a feature of this situation. In the nation's history, nothing like this has ever occurred.
"In that situation, the public sides with the party against whom injustice has been committed. I'm currently travelling through a state where it's clear that the populace supports Uddhav Thackeray," Pawar said at a press conference in Chinchwad.
Thackeray's allowed to keep Shiv Sena UBT
The top court also refused to restrain the Shinde faction from taking over properties and finances of Shiv Sena.
“This will amount to staying the EC order and we can't do that since they have succeeded there," CJI Chandrachud said.
Uddhav Thackeray's faction however, has been allowed to retain the flaming torch symbol and will be called Shiv Sena UBT at least until the by-elections in Maharashtra assembly on February 26.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Arvind Sawant said that their plea was admitted in court, indicating that it is maintainable. "It is a relief as doors have not been closed for us," he said.
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