Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the 'bow and arrow' symbol of the party will remain with the original party.
Speaking amid the ongoing tussle with the rebel Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Uddhav Thackeray also demanded mid-term elections in Maharashtra, saying that people should be allowed to take a stand on toppling of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by him.
Uddhav said, "According to the law, no one can take away the bow and arrow symbol from Shiv Sena. I am saying this after talking to constitutional experts."
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil had on Wednesday said the faction led by Shinde was the real claimant of the party’s 'bow and arrow' poll symbol.
Seeking to assuage the concerns of his party workers, Uddhav said people do not just look at the party symbol while voting, but they also look at the person and also whether the candidate belongs to the Shiv Sena.
He said the Shiv Sena as a political party and the legislature party are two separate identities, adding that even if just one, 50 or even 100 MLAs leave the party, it does not cease to exist.
Uddhav said, "Confusion is being created. Legislature party and registered party are two different identities. No one can take along the party workers with them."
He further said, "There should be mid-term polls. If we have made a mistake, people will not favour us and that will be acceptable to us."
Earlier this week, Sena leader Sanjay Raut claimed that his party will win over 100 seats if mid-term polls are held in the state.
While addressing a press conference, Uddhav said the change of power in the state could have happened with grace and in a dignified manner in 2019 and not with "betrayal" as was done last week. He was referring to the Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) parting of ways after the 2019 Assembly poll results over the issue of rotational chief minister.
Thackeray hit out at the rebel Shiv Sena group for keeping mum when the BJP targeted and "abused" him and his family in the last two-and-a-half years.
Uddhav also said the Supreme Court's verdict to be delivered on July 11 will decide not just the future of Shiv Sena but also the future of Indian democracy.
The apex court is scheduled to give its decision on a petition seeking disqualification of 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.
He said, "I trust the judiciary. The Supreme Court order (on the plea on disqualification of rebel MLAs) is not restricted to Shiv Sena alone, but it will also show direction on which side the democracy is heading. The country is looking at what decision the SC gives because this will also show the future of democracy in the country and whether the four pillars of democracy are discharging their duties or now."
Uddhav also hit out at the rebel Sena group for keeping mum when the BJP targeted and "abused" him and his family in the last two-and-a-half years.
"You keep in touch with them and betray your own party like this," he said without naming anyone.
He wondered whether the rebel MLAs' love for him and his family was real.
“You are sitting next to those who criticised the Thackeray family in the worst forms. You are hugging them. They tried to ruin my sons' lives...," he said.
He said the change of power in the state could have happened with grace and in a dignified manner in 2019 and not with "betrayal" as was done last week.
He was referring to the Sena and BJP's parting of ways after the 2019 Assembly poll results over the issue of rotational chief minister.
(With PTI inputs)