The poll body allotted flaming torch as the party symbol for the Thackeray-led Sena. It, however, did not allot party symbol to the Shinde faction and instead asked it to give a fresh list of symbols.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday allotted the name 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena' to the Eknath Shinde faction and
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'Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)’ to the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction for the Andheri East assembly bypoll slated for November 3.
The apex poll panel allotted the flaming torch as the party symbol for the Thackeray faction, but has yet to allot a symbol to the Shinde faction. Instead, the ECI asked Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena to submit a fresh list of symbols.
This comes after Thackeray approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of an October 8 order passed by the ECI freezing the party name Shiv Sena, and its election symbol, the bow and arrow.
The petition, filed by Thackeray, contending the ECI's order was passed in complete violation of "the principles of natural justice" and without granting any hearing to the parties or giving them an opportunity to submit evidence.
The ECI, in the order, barred the two factions from using the party name and its election symbol for the Andheri East assembly bypoll.
The order was passed following contesting claims made by the rival factions about enjoying a majority support in the Shiv Sena's legislative and organisational wings. The ECI had asked them to suggest by Monday (October 10) three different name choices and also three free symbols for allocation to their respective groups.
The last date of nominations for the bypoll is October 14. Thackerey claimed in the petition that grave prejudice will be caused to him and his party if the impugned order is not stayed.
Citing examples of the dispute relating to the AIADMK's 'two leaves' election symbol and similar wranglings in the JD (U) and the Samajwadi party, the petition had said, in all these cases the order freezing or refusing to freeze the symbol was passed by the ECI only after hearing all parties.
The petition claimed the bow and arrow symbol is intrinsically identified with the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena since 1966.
"Respondent No 2 (Shinde) himself admits and accepts that the petitioner has been elected as the President (Shivsena Paksha Pramukh) and that the petitioner till date continues to occupy the post of the President of Shiv Sena, and that under the Constitution of Shiv Sena, it is the President who is the highest authority in the party, whose decisions in all matters concerning the party policy and party administration are final," it said.
Shinde had raised the banner of revolt against Thackeray, accusing him of entering into an "unnatural alliance" with Congress and NCP. Over 40 of the Shiv Sena's 55 MLAs had supported Shinde, forcing the resignation of Thackeray as Maharashtra CM.
Twelve of the 18 Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena also came out in support of Shinde, who later claimed to be the leader of the original Shiv Sena. The Andheri East bypoll is the first after Shinde and the BJP unseated the MVA coalition in June, and is considered by political analysts as a precursor to settling of claims by Shinde and Thackeray to be the "real" Shiv Sena.
(With inputs from PTI)