Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Election Commission of India, which ruled that Eknath Shinde will lead the real Shiv Sena and can the bow and arrow election symbol. Calling it a murder of democracy, Thackeray said that he will move the Supreme Court against the EC’s decision.
The Shiv Sena was founded by Thackeray’s father, Bal Thackeray. However, the topic became a thorny issue after Shinded rebelled against Thackeray and eventually brought down the coalition government of the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.
Addressing reporters, Thackeray accused the national poll body of becoming the Narendra Modi government’s slave.
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“It may even take away our symbol of flaming torch tomorrow,” he was quoted by news agency PTI.
Taking a dig at Shinde, Thackeray saidf, “Let the thieves rejoice for a few days.” He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should announce that after 75 years of independence the country was not a democracy any longer but moving towards tyranny.
The Election Commission said that while the faction led by Eknath Shinde, now Maharashtra chief minister in alliance with the BJP, will be known as the real ‘Shiv Sena’, Thackeray’s faction will be called ‘Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray.’ Shinde’s faction has been allowed to keep the Shiv Sena’s traditional election symbol, bow and arrow. As for Thackeray, his faction has been allocated ‘flaming torch’ symbol.
Thackeray said in Marathi that the timing of the Election Commission decision was suspect, adding that it was indicative of the fact the vici body polls in Mumbai will be announced soon. He called the EC decision a conspiracy saying that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Narayan Rane, both with the BJP, had publicly said that the Shiv Sena’s symbol will be given to the Shinde faction.