Uddhav Thackeray, Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena Factions Submit Alternative Symbols, Names To Poll Panel

Both the Uddhav Thackeray-led and Eknath Shinde-led factions of Shiv Sena have laid claims to the party name and 'bow and arrow' symbol.

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray

Two days after the Election Commission (EC) barred both the factions from using Shiv Sena's name and symbol for now, the Uddhav Thackeray's and Eknath Shinde's factions have shared their preferred alternatives with the poll panel. 

The two factions are set for a face-off in a by-election for Andheri East constituency. Following both the factions' claim on the party symbol and name, the EC on Saturday barred both from using them in the upcoming polls

Sources in the poll panel confirmed that the alternate symbols and names have been submitted by both the factions. The poll panel will now examine whether the symbols are not the same or whether they are not being used by any other party. The EC will also examine whether the symbols submitted do not stand frozen by it already.

In an interim order on Saturday, the EC asked the Uddhav and Shinde factions to suggest by Monday three different name choices and also as many free symbols for allocation to their respective groups.

Uddhav had on Sunday asked the EC to finalise one of three symbols —trident, burning torch, rising Sun— finalised by his camp and a name without delay ahead of the bypoll. The Uddhav faction is contesting the bypoll. The Bharatiya Janata Party, an ally of Shinde group, has also decided to contest the bypoll.

As October 14 is the last date of filing papers, the EC decision on the alternative symbols and names of the two factions is likely soon.

Sena was torn into two factions when Shinde, then a Maharashtra minister, rebelled in June. The majority of Sena MLAs joined Shinde and brought down the Shinde-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, also comprising the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Shinde replaced Uddhav as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra with BJP's backing. Since then, both Uddhav's and Shinde's factions are engaged in a tussle to be the 'real' sena and the carriers of party founder Bal Thackeray's legacy.

(With PTI inputs)