Eknath Shinde had claimed the bow and arrow symbol of Shiv Sena for the upcoming assembly bypoll in Andheri East segment.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, engaged in a fight with CM Eknath Shinde over who gets the name, symbol and assets of the Shiv Sena party, today told the Election Commission that the faction led by Eknath Shinde cannot claim the bow-an-arrow symbol as he and other MLAs in his camp had “voluntarily quit the party”, NDTV reported.
Earlier, Eknath Shinde had claimed the bow and arrow symbol of Shiv Sena for the upcoming assembly bypoll in Andheri East segment, a first such fight since the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government fell in June this year. The ECI had asked Team Thackeray to respond to the claim by Shinde.
Eknath Shinde, who led the rebellion and then formed a government with BJP, has support of majority of MLAs and MPs of Shiv Sena. Since then, Shinde has claimed that his group is the real Shiv Sena and even managed to get its members recognised as the Shiv Sena leaders.
However, Uddhav Thackeray, who still technically heads the Maharashtra-based party, told the Election Commission that the Shinde camp’s legislators should not be counted because a disqualification plea against them is before the Supreme Court.
To maintain the control over the party founded by his father Bal Thackeray over 50 years ago, Uddhav Thackeray is now scrambling to gather affidavits of support from party members — the target is over 5 lakh. Mr Shinde, on the other hand, has also claimed the “true legacy of Hindutva” of Bal Thackeray.
The matter over disqualification of Shinde and other MLAs under anti-defection law is in apex court. However, Shinde enjoys support of over two-third strength among party legislators to avoid disqualification.
However, the ECI also considers support of the executive body of the party, and thus affidavits from party units are being gathered.
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