Uddav faction moves SC against EC’s order on Shiv Sena dispute

CJI DY Chandrachud asked Uddhav’s lawyer to mention the matter Tuesday.

New Delhi | Updated: 20 February, 2023 12:57 pm IST
Supreme Court of India (file photo)

Former Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray approached the Supreme Court on Monday against the Election Commission’s order recognizing Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde led faction as ‘Shiv Sena’.

Senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Shinghvi mentioned the matter before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud for an urgent hearing.

However, the CJI turned down his request and asked him to list his plea for mention in Tuesday’s mentioning list. “Sorry. You have to come under the mentioning list. Come tomorrow,” CJI Chandrachud said.

On February 17, the commission, in its order, allowed the Shinde faction to use the party name ‘Shiv Sena’ and use ‘Arrow and Bow’ as its official party symbol.

“The party name ‘Shiv Sena’ and the party symbol ‘bow and arrow’ will be retained by the petitioner faction,” reads its order.

In its order, the poll watchdog said that MLAs in the Uddhav Thackeray faction got 23.5 per cent of votes polled in favour of 55 winning Shiv Sena candidates in Maharashtra in the 2019 Assembly polls where MLAs backing Eknath Shinde got nearly 76 per cent of votes.

In June 2022, Shinde, then urban development minister in the Uddhav Thackeray camp, launched a rebellion, accusing his boss of compromising on Maharashtra Hindutva icon Balasaheb Thackeray’s ideology by allying with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Uddhav denied all allegations and said the coup was a result of Shinde and BJP’s hunger for power.

Backed by dozens of Shiva Sena legislators, Shinde formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was sworn in as the chief minister.

When the matter reached the Election Commission, it granted ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ and the symbol of ‘Two Swords and Shield’ and ‘Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)’ and the symbol of ‘Flaming Torch’ in October last year.

In its February 17 order, the commission said the Uddhav group could continue to use the name and symbol allocated to them.

The Uddhav group has called the ECI’s decision “preconceived and prejudiced”.

“The decision by the ECI is unexpected. We have been fighting this out in the SC for the last six months. I had earlier said that until the SC decision is announced, the EC should not announce its verdict,” Thackeray said after the commission’s ruling.

It further said: “If a decision is taken purely based on the total number of elected representatives from that party, then tomorrow any moneybag can buy MLAs and take over control of the party and even become the Prime Minister of the country. ECI has lost credibility completely.”

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