Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray alleges bias, writes to Election Commission; read details here

Thackeray faction, in a four-page-letter, claimed that the poll panel shared "privileged communication" by making public their choice of names and symbols and suspected it was done so much before Shinde camp submitted their documents.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, October 13, 2022, 09:08 PM IST
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Shiv Sena Supremo Uddhav Thackeray |

Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray in a 12 point letter to the Election Commission has alleged bias in the allotment of party symbols and names in favour of Shinde camp and questioned the fairness of the poll panel. ‘’The events that have taken place since filing of the petition, including recent orders allocating interim names and symbols to the parties, have led the Respondent (Thackeray led party) to have a serious apprehension that this Hon'ble Commission is biased in favour of the Petitioner (Shinde amp) in the Dispute Case,’’ it reads.

Thackeray led party said that certain actions - uploading names and symbols on the website and deleting them, advancing deadlines to submit documents - by the Election Commission gave a wide margin to the rival Shinde camp to choose a name and symbol of their choice. ‘’Election Commission shared "privileged communication" by uploading Thackeray led party’s choice of names and symbols on its website "possibly even before [Shinde camp)had submitted his own list,’’ it said adding that this allowed Shinde camp to copy the choices that Thackeray led party had suggested, the letter alleged.

‘’Further, to the surprise of the Respondent (Thackeray led party)it was seen that the Hon'ble Commission thereafter deleted this letter from its website. Needless to say, no letter of the Petitioner (Shinde camp) stating his preference of symbols and names was ever uploaded on the website,’’ it said.

The Respondent's (Thackeray led party) apprehension was confirmed when it came to know that the Petitioner (Shinde camp) had also very ‘’tellingly’’ given the same first choice of name, and the same first and second choice of symbol as the Respondent herein, thus, effectively precluding the Respondent from being allotted his first choice of name and the first and second choice of symbol. ‘’This could not have happened but for the fact that the Hon'ble Commission shared privileged communication from the Respondent herein on its public website,’’ it noted.

‘’It is also curious that while the letter allocating the symbol of Flaming Torch to the Petitioner was uploaded on the website of the Hon'ble Commission without publication of the image of the symbol, the letter allocating a symbol to the Respondent contained a large pictorial representation of the symbol, thus effectively communicating to the voters the symbol under which the Petitioner and his group would be contesting the bye elections. The same is again giving an unfair advantage to the Petitioner,’’ the letter alleged.

‘’The Hon'ble Commission in gross violation of all principles of natural justice proceeded to pass the Interim Order dated 08.10.2022. It is further pertinent to note that the said Interim Order was passed on the pretext of avoiding any confusion in the upcoming by-elections Andheri East constituency, even though it is clearly known through the media reports that no candidate from the group led by Petitioner is contesting the said bye-election,’’ it said.

The Election Commission has allotted the name as Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray  with Flaming Torch symbol while Eknath Shinde has been given Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena with two swords and a shield symbol.

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