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

Shiv Sena's Thackeray and Shinde groups given new names, pending final decision on their dispute by ECI

New Delhi, October 10, 2022

The Election Commission of India (ECI) today approved new names for the two factions of the Shiv Sena, one headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the other by his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray.

The Commission informed the Thackeray faction that its second choice of a new name, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) had been accepted by it and allotted to the group.

In the case of the Shinde group, the Commission has accepted its second choice of name, Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena.

Both factions had mentioned Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray) as their first choice for a new name, and for this reason it was not allotted to either of them.

The late Balasaheb Thackeray was the founder of the Shiv Sena and Udhav Thackeray is his son.

As far as a new symbol is concerned, the Commission has accepted the Thackeray group's third choice, Flaming Torch.

The symbol was not in the list of free symbols and used to be the reserved symbol of the Samata Party, which was derecognized as a state party in 2004. On receipt of the Thackeray group's request, the Commission decided to declare "Flaming Torch"as a free symbol to be allotted to the candidate set up, if any, by the group in the bye-election for the Andheri East Assembly seat on November 3 and till the final order is passed in the dispute between the two groups.

The Thackeray group had sought Trishul as its first choice but that was denied because of its religious connotations. It was also the first preference of the Shinde group.

The Thackeray group's second preference was the Rising Sun, which was not allotted because it is already a reserved symbol of the DMK in Tamil Nadu. It was also the second preference of the Shinde group.

The Shinde group's third preference, Gada, was denied by the Commission because it has religious connotations.

The Commission has asked the Shinde group to furnish a fresh list of three symbols in order of preference by 10 am tomorrow.

The two factions were asked by the Commission on Saturday to furnish three choices for new names and symbols in an interim order in which it said neither faction 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 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 had 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 had 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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