The Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena received the “Two Swords and Shield insignia” from the Election Commission of India on Tuesday, a day after receiving the moniker “Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena” (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) for the party division.
For the approaching byelection in the Andheri East assembly constituency next month, the Shinde group had offered the Election Commission (EC) the “shining sun,” “shield and sword,” and “Peepul tree” as potential candidates for its election emblem.
But according to the ECI, the symbols provided by the Shinde side are not on the list of free symbols that was made public by the Commission.
The Election Commission explained its decision not to grant Sun/Surya/Sooraj a symbol, stating that “The Name of the Symbol resembles with already reserved symbols “Sun (without rays)” and “Rising Sun” of recognised Political Parties, namely “Zoram Nationalist Party” (recognised party in the state of Mizoram) and “Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam” (recognised party in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry) respectively.”
The EC wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde saying, “The Commission has decided to declare Do Talwarein aur Ek Dhal (Two Swords & Shield) to be a free symbol and allots it as the symbol to be allotted to the candidate set up, if any, by your group in the current bye-elections and until the final order is passed in the Dispute case number I of 2022.”
While the Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction was denied the “Trishul” due to its association with religion, the “flaming torch” (mashaal) was chosen as the party’s election symbol.
Thackeray stated via a Facebook live, “I didn’t anticipate the Election Commission to make this choice. I have faith in the legal system. Justice will be served. The bow of Lord Sri Ram was paralysed by the 40-headed Ravana. Because you stabbed your mother in the chest, I feel both heartbroken and furious. If you are brave, don’t use Balasaheb’s name.”
At the beginning of the year on June 30, Eknath Shinde took the oath of office as Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
This occurred because a Shiv Sena group led by Shinde switched the alliance from MVA to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since then, Maharashtra has been the scene of a power struggle between the two Sena factions over who will truly carry on Bal Thackeray’s legacy.