Shinde camp zeroes in on sword, Thackeray faction favours Gada (Mace) if EC freezes bow & arrow

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has written to the Election Commission urging it 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.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, October 06, 2022, 10:01 PM IST
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Shinde camp zeroes in on sword, Thackeray faction favours Gada (Mace) if EC freezes bow & arrow | FPJ

Amid the ongoing battle at the Election Commission and upcoming hearing on Friday, the Thackeray faction and Shinde Camp have zeroed in on their respective poll symbols if the poll panel freezes Shiv Sena’s bow and arrow. Incidentally, both the Thackeray faction and the Shinde camp have made strong claims over bow and arrow and they are currently engaged in fierce arguments at the EC.

Authoritative sources told the Free Press Journal,’’ Shinde camp has selected ‘’Sword’’ as the poll symbol while Thackeray faction has almost finalised ‘’Mace” (Gada). Incidentally, the Shinde followers presented a mammoth 51 ft sword to CM and party’s Chief Leader Eknath Shinde at the Dussehra rally on Wednesday. Shinde camp claims Sword is symbol of power, protection, authority, strength and courage and post rebellion it is prepared to taken on opponents and those engaged in anti national activities.’’ On the other hand, Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray has preferred ‘’Gada’’ (Mace) as the poll symbol which is the main weapon of the Hindu God Hanuman and known for his strength. The Thackeray faction though new symbol proposes to rejuvenate and revive the party organisation especially after Shinde led a rebellion and thereby regain its supremacy.’’

A senior minister from the Shinde camp said, ‘’If the Election Commission clears Sword as our symbol it will be easy for the party to claim that they are the real heirs of Chhatrapati Shivaji who fought for Hindavi Swarajya and also of Shiv Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray who strongly advocated Hindutva. Taking sword symbol to the voters won’t be an issue as the party has made necessary arrangements including massive outreach through social media.’’ 

On the other hand, a Shiv Sena leader, who is currently involved in pursuing the party's legal cases, was quite bullish over Gada (Mace) as the poll symbol. ‘’Already our party president Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray have announced that traitors (gaddars) will be taught a lesson and while doing that Gada (mace) as a poll symbol will come handy to reach out to the voters. Party president at Dussehra rally has exhorted the Sainiks to remain with him to defeat the traitors by gearing up preparations for the upcoming polls,’’ he added.

According to another Thackeray faction leader, the party has already put in place a trained team to handle social media and also firmed up a comprehensive campaign plan to reach out to the voters with a new symbol and party’s agenda.

A retired bureaucrat, who had in the past supervised preparations for the assembly and parliamentary elections, explained that various symbols are  generally available with the Election Commission. ‘’When the bow and arrow symbol is frozen, both groups will be notified and a hearing will be held for a new symbol. The symbols held by the Election Commission will be available for both groups first. If either group does not want the symbol with the Election Commission, they will request for providing symbols of their choices. Thereafter EC will give its ruling,’’ he said.

Give Us Sena Symbol, Eknath Shinde Tells Election Commission citing Andheri East by poll

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has written to the Election Commission urging  it 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 concern that the Thackeray faction "will illegally and unlawfully make an attempt to field a candidate and claim the allotted symbol of SSPP".

Shinde has appealed to EC asked  "urgently hear, dispose and allow the petition and allot the symbol of Shiv Sena party of 'Bow and Arrow' to the group.’’

Shinde, who claims to be the real Sena, has claimed the legacy of party founder Bal Thackeray along with the bow and arrow symbol.

The matter is now pending with the Election Commission, which said it would apply the transparent process of the "rule of majority".

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