Since the split in June, both factions have been accusing the other of tainting Bal Thackeray’s legacy.

Mumbai:

The Election Commission today barred the Shiv Sena factions, led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, from using the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol in the upcoming elections. The decision comes four months after Eknath Shinde took away the Shiv Sena numbers in the Maharashtra assembly to replace Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister.

As per the poll body’s interim order, both groups will now have to choose new names. They shall be allotted different symbols, which they may choose from the list of free symbols available.

Both the faction will now have to use a different name and symbol in the upcoming bye-election in Mumbai’s Andheri East.

The Commission had earlier asked the rival groups to submit documentary proof on legislative and organisational support by August 8 to back their claims.

The deadline was extended to October 7 after the request of the Thackeray faction. On October 4, the Shinde faction had moved the Election Commission seeking the allocation of the bow and arrow poll symbol in view of the Andheri East assembly by-election that was notified on Friday.

The Thackeray faction had submitted its response to the claim on Saturday and had sought four more weeks to carefully understand the documentation submitted by the rival faction.

Since the split in June, both factions have been accusing the other of tainting Bal Thackeray’s legacy.

At the big Dussehra meeting this week, Mr Shinde said: “Do you have any moral right to even stand and speak there? You used Shiv Sainiks for your personal reason and went ahead with Congress and NCP… Balasaheb Thackeray used to run the government on remote control and you gave this remote control to NCP”.

Mr Thackeray, who held another rally at the traditional venue of Shivaji Park, alleged that Mr Shinde was a “traitor” who is attempting to control the party out of “greed”.


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