The Election Commission on Monday allotted new names and symbols to the two factions of the erstwhile Shiv Sena, which split into Chief Minister Eknath Shinde group and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray group.
Accordingly, the Thackeray group has been given the name of Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray and it has been allotted a new symbol of a flaming torch.
Similarly, the breakaway Shinde group has got the “Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena” title and has been ordered to submit new options for a symbol by 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
The developments came two days after the ECI froze the name of Shiv Sena and its iconic bow-and-arrow symbol ahead of the upcoming by-elections to the Andheri East constituency.
Shiv Sena-UBT Deputy Leader Sushma Andheri has welcomed the EC’s decision and said nobody needs an introduction to Balasaheb Thackeray’s Shiv Sena now led by Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray.
South Mumbai MP of the Sena-UBT Arvind Sawant also hailed the move and said Uddhav Thackeray is “the face of the party”, and accused the Shinde faction of “stealing everything, the party, is symbol, the Thackeray family name, etc.”, but now the EC decision has cleared the air.
Other Shiv Sena-UBT leaders like Kishore Tiwari, Kishori Pednekar also gave a warm reception to the party’s new credentials and a brand new symbol.
The ECI rejected the symbols – trident and mace – demanded by the two factions on grounds that they had religious connotations.
Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena spokesperson Sheetal Mhatre said that these are stop-gap arrangements till the assembly elections and the Shinde group will get the original name and symbol later.