Post EC order, Uddhav Thackeray calls meeting of party leaders to discuss road ahead

Shiv Sena: Thackeray faction likely to move SC

Sharad Pawar asks ally to accept Election Commission verdict and move on with new party symbol

A day after the Election Commission (EC) recognised the Eknath Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray, who heads the rival camp, on Saturday called a meeting of his party leaders and functionaries to discuss the future course of action.

The meeting of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leaders, deputy leaders, elected representatives and spokespersons comes amid reports that Uddhav has decided to move the Supreme Court against the Election Commission’s decision, according to NDTV. The meeting will be held at Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’ in suburban Bandra in the afternoon, party aides said.

In a big blow to Uddhav Thackeray, the EC on Friday allotted the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and its poll symbol ‘bow and arrow’ to the group led by CM Shinde.

This is for the first time that the Thackeray family has lost control of the party that was founded in 1966 by Balasaheb Thackeray on the principles of justice for the sons of the soil.

In a unanimous order on the six-month-old petition filed by Shinde, the three-member Commission said it had relied on the numerical strength of the party in the legislative wing, where the chief minister enjoyed the support of 40 of the 55 MLAs and 13 of the 18 Lok Sabha members.

Shinde broke ranks with Thackeray in June last year and formed the government in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Uddhav thakre

In its order, the Commission said 40 MLAs, supporting the Shinde faction, garnered 36,57,327 votes out of total 47,82,440 votes, which accounts for approximately 76 per cent of votes polled in favour of 55 winning MLAs. This was in contrast with 11,25,113 votes garnered by 15 MLAs whose support is claimed by the Thackeray faction.

Thackeray had on Friday termed the EC’s decision as “dangerous for democracy”, and said he would challenge it in the Supreme Court, while CM Shinde had described the development as “victory of truth and people”. 

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar has remarked that the loss of the “bow and arrow” symbol of his ally Uddhav Thackeray would not have any major impact.He stressed that the people would accept the new symbol just like they had done with the Congress symbol when Indira Gandhi had to give up the two bullocks symbol..

The NCP chief asked Thackeray to accept the EC ordr and adopt a new symbol, reports 

“It’s the decision of the Election Commission. Once a decision is given, there can be no discussion. Accept it and take a new symbol. It (the loss of the old symbol) is not going to have any major impact as people will accept (the new symbol). It just would remain in the discussion for the next 15-30 days, that’s it,” Pawar said.

He recalled the Congress having to change its symbol from two bullocks with a yoke to hand and said that the people would accept the new symbol of Uddhav Thackeray faction like the way they accepted the Congress’ new symbol.

“I remember Indira Gandhi also faced this situation. Congress used to have a ‘two bullocks with a yoke’ symbol. Later they lost it & adopted ‘hand’ as a new symbol & people accepted it. Similarly, people will accept the new symbol (of Uddhav Thackeray faction),” he said.

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