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"They put Balasaheb's mask for benefit..." Uddhav Thackeray on losing Shiv Sena name, symbol

Mumbai (Maharashtra) : After a huge setback to Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, the Former Maharashtra Chief Minister hit out at Eknath Shinde and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Election Commission allotted Shinde faction to retain the party name "Shiv Sena" and election symbol "bow and arrow" and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's face does not attract people in Maharashtra and the ruling alliance wants to earn political dividend in the name of Balasaheb Thackeray. Calling the election commission order to give the bow and the arrow symbol, the legacy of his father's Shiv Sena, to the Eknath Shinde faction a 'murder of democracy', Uddhav said he will approach the Supreme Court against the decision. "They should first understand Balasaheb. They have come to know that 'Modi's face does not attract people in Maharashtra anymore so they have to put Balasaheb's mask on their face for their own benefit. I had said that ECI should not give a decision before the SC verdict. If the party's existence is decided based on the number of MLAs and MPs, any capitalist can purchase MLA, MP and become CM," Uddhav Thackeray said at a press conference here. "They also should remember that when it was about Indira Gandhi, People decided to vote against her despite the fact that there was no alternative to her .. so in recent times also people may vote against this govt despite having no alternative," he added. "We don't need to worry. Public is with us. We'll go with a new symbol&raise this Shiv Sena once again in the court of public," Sanjay Raut said. He said his faction (Shiv Sena - UBT) would move to Supreme Court against the poll panel's move. "We will surely go to the Supreme Court against this EC order. We are sure that the SC will set aside this order and will disqualify the 16 MLAs," Thackeray added. On Friday, the Election Commission of India announced that the party name "Shiv Sena" and the symbol "Bow and Arrow" will be retained by the Eknath Shinde faction. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday updated his display picture on Twitter and put up Shiv Sena's 'bow and arrow' symbol as the picture. "It is the victory of the ideologies of Balasaheb and Anand Dighe, of our workers, MPs, MLAs, public representatives and lakhs of Shiv Sainiks. It is victory of democracy. This country runs on the Constitution drafted by Babasaheb Ambedkar. We formed our government on the basis of that Constitution. The EC order that came today is on the basis of merit. I express my gratitude to the Election Commission," Shinde told reporters here. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis congratulated Shinde on retaining the party symbol and said his faction is the true "Shiv Sena" that follows the principles of Balasaheb Thackeray. "The Shiv Sena that walks on ideologies of Balasaheb Thackeray - Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena has become the original Shiv Sena. My greetings to him. We were confident from day 1 because if you look at EC's earlier orders on different parties, they were similar decisions," Fadnavis said. On Friday, the Election Commission of India announced that the party name "Shiv Sena" and the symbol "Bow and Arrow" will be retained by the Eknath Shinde faction. Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde said, "Modi ji's name is celebrated not only in the country but across the world. He is the number 1 (political leader) in a recent global survey. Why are you jealous? Accept the truth. Words like these won't bring down PM Modi's popularity." "They (Uddhav Thackeray faction) had mortgaged the 'bow and arrow' in 2019. We redeemed the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray and the 'bow and arrow'. I thank the Election Commission for this holy act," he said. "50 MLAs, 13 MPs, hundreds of public reps & lakhs of workers are thieves. What are you? Do self-introspection as to why has this day come? You sold out the ideology of Balasaheb Thackeray in 2019," Maharashtra CM on his faction being reportedly called 'thieves' by Uddhav Thackeray Notably, both factions of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray) have been fighting for the bow and arrow symbol of the party since Shinde (present Maharashtra Chief Minister) revolted against Thackeray last year. The Commission observed that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party is undemocratic. It has been mutilated to undemocratically appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all. Such party structures fail to inspire confidence. In a landmark decision with far-reaching implications on political parties and their conduct, ECI advised all political parties to reflect democratic ethos and principles of inner party democracy and regularly disclose on their respective websites aspects of their inner party functioning, such as organisational details, holding of elections, the copy of Constitution and list of office bearers. "The constitution of political parties ought to provide for free, fair and transparent elections to the posts of office bearers and a further free and fair procedure for the resolution of internal disputes. These procedures ought to be difficult to amend and should be amendable only after ensuring larger support of the organisational members for the same," the ECI said. The ECI observed that the undemocratic norms of the original Constitution of Shiv Sena, which was not accepted by the Commission in 1999 have been brought back in a surreptitious manner further making the party akin to a fiefdom. The Rashtriya Karyakarini is a body which is 'elected' by a largely 'appointed' Pratinidhi Sabha. The Commission conveyed to Shiv Sena in the year 1999 on the draft amendments when Bala Saheb was made leader of Sena for life: "To put in a nutshell, the party Constitution envisages the President nominating the Electoral College that is to elect him. Therefore, any reliance on the '"Test of Party Constitution"' for determining the present dispute case will be undemocratic and catalytic in spreading such practices across parties. Last month, both the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray-led factions of the Shiv Sena submitted their written statements in support of their claims of control over the party name and symbol to the Election Commission. The ECI had frozen the bow and arrow symbol of the Shiv Sena and had allotted the 'Two Swords and Shield symbol' to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena and the 'flaming torch' (mashaal) election symbol was allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray faction for the bypoll in Andheri East assembly constituency in November last year. In November last year, Uddhav Thackeray had moved a writ plea in the Delhi High Court against the ECI decision to freeze Election Symbol of Bow and Arrow. However, the plea was dismissed by the court. Notably, EC passed the interim order saying in Andheri East bypolls, neither of the two groups shall be permitted to use the symbol "bow and arrow", reserved for "Shiv Sena".

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