In the recent disputes regarding the election symbol used by the Eknath-led faction of the Shiv Sena, the Shinde camp got a new name: “Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena”. But, unfortunately, it has already created a problem of two swords using the same symbol that Shiv Sena candidates had in the past election contests until the party got its bow and arrow sign in 1989.
While allotting the symbol to the Shinde faction, the Election Commission has turned down the three options; submitted by it for an election symbol (the trident, the mace and the rising sun). The poll body rejected the first two choices because of their religious connotation.
While the third, the rising sun, was disallowed since it symbolised the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party. The EC had asked Shinde to submit new options for the emblem.
Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena submitted two options: the two-swords-and-shield symbol and the sun. But again, EC rejected the sun since it symbolised the DMK in Tamil Nadu and that of the Zoram Nationalist Party in Mizoram.
“The two swords and shield symbol were reserved earlier for the People’s Democratic Movement party in Mizoram, which was derecognised in 2004. The symbol is allotted your group for the upcoming by-poll (in Andheri on November 3) and until the final verdict is given in the current dispute,” the order addressed Shinde.
The Election Commission on Saturday had frozen the name and symbol of the Shiv Sena after the dispute between the Uddhav Thackeray faction and Eknath Shinde camp reached the doorstep of the poll panel. Both sides claimed to be the “real Shiv Sena” and submitted affidavits by party workers and office-bearers. The EC had asked both sides to submit three options each by way of a party name and election symbol.
Uddhav Thackeray had submitted the trident, rising sun and flaming torch as his options for the symbol and Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray), Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Prabodhankar Thackeray) and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) as choices for the name of the party.
“Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena is the real Sena supported by the people of Maharashtra,” claimed chief minister Shinde.
Naresh Mhaske, the spokesperson for Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena, said, “The symbol is the blessing of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to our party.”
Girish Mahajan, BJP MLA, believed people’s acceptance of the party was more important than the symbol. “The by-poll and the forthcoming elections will prove the people’s mandate,” he said.