Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray
Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray IANS (File photos)

ECI bars Shinde, Thackeray groups from using Shiv Sena name, symbol in Maharashtra bye-election

New Delhi, October 9, 2022

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has, in an interim order, said that neither of the two factions, one led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the other by his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray, shall be permitted to use the name of the party Shiv Sena simpliciter or its symbol "Bow and Arrow" till the final determination of the dispute between them.

The interim order was issued on Saturday by the Commission because there was an urgency involved with regard to the use of the party symbol and name due to the bye-election for the Andheri East assembly constituency to be held on November 3 and the fact that there was not enough time to ensure the completion of the due process in the matter before that.

The Commission said the interim order was issued in order to place both the rival groups on an even keel and to protect their rights and interests, and going by precedents in such matter.

The order said both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose, including, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party "Shiv Sena".

It said both the groups shall also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purposes of the current bye-election.

Accordingly, both the groups have been directed to furnish, by 1 pm on Monday, the names of the groups by which they may be recognized by the Commission, giving three options in order of preference, any one of which may be approved by the Commission.

Similarly, they have been asked to indicate the names of three free symbols, in the order of their preference, any one of which may be allotted to their candidates by the Commission.

The Shiv Sena is a recognized State Party in Maharashtra with the symbol "Bow & Arrow" allotted as its reserved symbol.

Shinde, a rebel Shiv Sena leader, was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30 at the end of ten days of political drama that began with a large number of party MLAs led by him rebelling against then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, reducing the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to a minority.

Shinde formed the government with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose leader and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis became the Deputy Chief Minister.

Both sides claim to be the real Shiv Sena and the dispute is now before the Election Commission.


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