The Election Commission on Friday allotted the name ’Shiv Sena’ and its poll symbol ’bow and arrow’ to the group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
The Shiv Sena, founded by Bal Thackeray, has been a powerful political force in the Indian state of Maharashtra for decades. It is currently led by Uddhav Thackeray, the son of Bal Thackeray.
Recently, a group of Shiv Sena members, led by Eknath Shinde, have broken away from the parent organization and formed the ‘Real Shiv Sena’. This new faction is much more hardline in its approach and has been vocal in its opposition to Government policies on several issues.
The Real Shiv Sena has been accused of instigating violence and promoting a more extreme version of Hindutva, even as compared to the parent organization’s stance.
This is for the first time the Thackeray family has lost control of the party.
Shinde described the EC verdict as victory of truth and people as well as blessings of Balasaheb Thackeray” while Sanjay Raut, who is with Thackeray, said the Commission decision to recognise the Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena was a “murder of democracy” and his party will “go to the people.”
“The party name ‘Shiv Sena’ and the party symbol ‘Bow and arrow’ will be retained by the petitioner faction,” the Commission said in the 78-page order.
“To put it in a nutshell, the party constitution envisages the president nominating the electoral college that is to elect him. This goes against the spirit of democracy and negates the very purpose for which the entire exercise was carried out,” the Commission said.
The Commission observed that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party is “undemocratic”. “It has been mutilated to undemocratically appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all. Such party structures fail to inspire confidence,” it said.
Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur “It is now proved that Eknath Shinde leads the real Shiv Sena. The decision has been given on merit, “Shiv Sena is a party of ideology. Shinde is taking the ideology ahead…. he is walking in (Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray’s footsteps,” the BJP leader said.
Finally, Shinde has changed the twitter profile picture to “bow and arrow” emblem.