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"Uddhav Thackeray's political ambition..."Athawale backs Shinde faction in symbol war

New Delhi: Amid the row over symbol between the two rival factions of Shiv Sena, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on Sunday came out in support of the Shinde camp saying the Election Commission (EC) should give the 'Bow and Arrow' symbol to the rebel group while taking the final call over the matter.
Speaking to ANI, Athawale said, "The symbol of Shiv Sena has been frozen for the Assembly bye-election of Andheri east. After that, I feel that Eknath Shinde group should definitely get the symbol of Shiv Sena's 'Bow and Arrow'. Election Commission has to decide on the basis of merit and when the decision will be taken later. Eknath Shinde will definitely get the symbol of Shiv Sena." Union Minister said that Uddhav Thackeray's political ambition is responsible for freezing the symbol of the party.
"Uddhav Thackeray ji is responsible for the freeze of Shiv Sena's symbol because he had formed the government with NCP and Congress by betraying the BJP and became the Chief Minister. In the run for chief ministership, he had done a lot of damage to his party and now ended up facing a ban on using the party's original symbol."
Athawale also objected to Shiv Sena's demand for 'rising sun' as party's symbol in the upcoming bypolls. He said that 'Rising Sun' was earlier the Republican Party of India's (RPI) symbol so this should not be alloted to the Thackeray group.
"Arvind Sawant, who is the MP of the Thackeray faction, has given three symbol options to the Election Commission, in which Trishul, Mashaal (torch) and Rising Sun are there. Trishul and Mashaal are fine but the 'Rising Sun' should not be given to the Uddhav Thackeray group because it was the symbol of RPI. We are going to write to the Election Commission about the matter," the Union Minister added.
The Uddhav Thackeray camp of Shiv Sena submitted a list of three names and symbols for the upcoming Andheri East Assembly constituency bypolls to the Election Commission.
Amid a row over Shiv Sena's 'Bow and Arrow' symbol claim, the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday froze the symbol barring both the rival camps in the party from using it in the upcoming Assembly bypoll slated for November 3.
Following this, the Thackeray faction on Sunday submitted the options of 'Trishul', 'Rising Sun' and 'Torch' as symbols for the party to the Election Commission. Further, the Thackeray camp suggested three names -- Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray), Shiv Sena (Prabodhankar Thackeray) and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) for the upcoming bye-elections.
"Our party's name is Shiv Sena, if ECI gives any of the names related to Shiv Sena including 'Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray)', 'Shiv Sena (Prabodhankar Thackeray)' or 'Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)', that would be acceptable to us," Shiv Sena (Uddhav faction) MP Arvind Sawant told media persons.
Notably, EC passed the interim order saying in Andheri East bye polls, neither of the two groups shall be permitted to use the symbol "Bow and Arrow", reserved for "Shiv Sena".
The Commission's ruling came amid the ongoing symbol war between the Uddhav Thackeray camp and rival Eknath Shinde camp.
In its order, the Commission said, "In order to place both the rival groups on even keel and to protect their rights and interests, and going by the past precedence, the Commission hereby makes the following Interim Order, to cover the purpose of the current Bye-elections and to continue till the final determination of the dispute in the matter in terms of Para 15 of the Symbols Order:- Neither of the two groups led by Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde (Petitioner) and other led by Uddhav Thackeray (Respondent) be permitted to use the name of the party Shiv Sena simplicitor."
"Neither of the two groups shall also be permitted to use the symbol 'Bow and Arrow', reserved for "Shivsenal'; Both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, including, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party Shivsena; and Both groups shall also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purposes of the current bye-elections," added the Commission.
Eknath Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on June 30 earlier this year.
This came after a faction of Shiv Sena under Shinde shifted the alliance to Bharatiya Janata Party BJP from Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA). Since then, Maharashtra has been witnessing a tussle between both the factions of Sena as to who is the real inheritor of the legacy of Bal Thackeray. (ANI)

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