The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday allotted the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction the ‘shield and sword’ poll symbol, a day after the poll panel asked the camp to submit fresh symbols.
The Shinde faction earlier in the day submitted new symbols to the Election Commission via email. Among the symbols were a conch, an auto-rickshaw, a man blowing a trumpet, Sun, a shield and a sword, and a peepal tree.
On Monday, the EC stated that the Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction will use the name ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena), while the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp will call itself ‘Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’ for the November 3 Andheri East bypoll. The Uddhav faction was given a ‘flaming torch’ (Mashaal) as its poll symbol.
On Monday, the EC declined to allot ‘Trishul’, ‘rising Sun’ and ‘Gada’ symbols to either of the factions as they are “not in the list of free symbols”, and asked to submit the Shinde camp three fresh symbols by today. Team Shinde had earlier suggested ‘rising sun’ and ‘trident’ as their poll symbols along with ‘mace’ (Gada).
On Saturday, the EC had barred both Shiv Sena factions from using the party name and its election symbol in the November 3 Andheri East assembly bypoll. In an interim order over the claims by the rival factions for control of the organisation, the Commission asked them to suggest by Monday three different name choices and also as many free symbols for allocation to their respective groups.
The Sena vs Sena row began when Shinde raised a banner of revolt against Uddhav in June, accusing him of entering into an “unnatural alliance” with the Congress and NCP by compromising on Bal Thackeray’s ideologies. Over 40 of the Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs had supported Shinde, forcing Uddhav’s resignation.
The Andheri East bypoll is the first to happen after Shinde and the BJP unseated the MVA government.
(With PTI inputs)