Eknath Shinde’s faction of the Shiv Sena was assigned “two swords and a shield” as their poll symbol. PTI
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde may have welcomed India’s Election Commission’s decision to grant his Shiv Sena faction the ‘two swords and a shield’ symbol, but it could soon become a headache for him – especially since a former secretary of the board of gurudwara has opposed it and written to the polling body.
In the meantime, the Samata party has raised its objection to the symbol of the “flaming torch” attributed to the Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray.
The EC said last week that the two groups would not be able to use the Sena’s “bow and arrow” symbol after the split.
Speaking to reporters last week, Shinde said the top choice was “the sun”, but the “two swords and a shield” symbol was associated with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as well as the former Sena.
“Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena is the ordinary man’s Shiv Sena. We accept this decision of the EC. We prioritized the “sun” symbol, but he approved of the swords and shield. It is the symbol of the ancient Shiv Sena… It is a Maharashtrian symbol. It is the symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji and his mavalas (soldiers),” Shinde said.
Two swords and a shield were one of the symbols of the Shiv Sena, founded by Bal Thackeray, used in the 1967-68 civic polls in Mumbai and elsewhere.
But why is this happening? Let’s take a closer look:
Ex-Gurudwara secy writes to EC about ‘two swords and a shield’
Ranjitsingh Kamthekar, former board secretary of Gurudwara Sachkhand, Nanded, who is also a local Congress leader, said Hindustan time the “two swords and shield” symbol is religious and belongs to the Khalsa pantheon.
Kamthekar has written to the Electoral Commission (EC) not to authorize the symbol as it has religious connotations.
He further said he would consider moving the court if the polling body did not respond.
“Our religious guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh had made the sword and shield the religious symbol of the Khalsa panth,” he said.
He added that the EC had cited religious connotations as the reason for rejecting the trident and mace for those factions.
“I want to draw the attention of the EC to the fact that even the symbol attributed to the Shinde faction also has religious implications. I hope the EC will take note of that,” he said.
Kamthekar added that he would send an official letter to the polling body after meeting with other members of the community today, according to the report.
Kamthekar tweeted his message to the EC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other politicians.
Samata party protests against awarding flaming torch to Uddhav faction
This development comes after the Samata party – an offshoot of the JDU led by Nitish Kumar – opposed the awarding of a mashaal or flaming torch to Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).
According The footprintthe Samata party, derecognized by the EC in 2004, had lodged a complaint with the Commission concerning the attribution of its “original symbol” to the Uddhav party.
Samata party chairman Uday Mandal told the media that mashaal symbol was reserved by the Samata party, and that he was released in one day without informing the party.
“We have not been informed by the EC that our reserved symbol is allocated to another party. We are preparing for the future elections in Bihar and we would need our original symbol,” Mandal said.
He added: “The EC has not responded to our complaint, which was filed two days ago. So now we are approaching the Delhi High Court with a plea to let us retain our original symbol.
Mandal claimed to have fought some state elections after being derecognized.
What do we know about the Samata Party?
According The footprint, the Samata party was formed by Nitish Kumar and George Fernandes in 1994.
In 2003, Fernandes announced his merger with Janata Dal (United), but the idea was opposed by party MP Brahmanand Mandal.
The party was then derecognized after the electoral commission did not agree to the merger.
The Electoral Commission can deregister a party if:
- He does not get at least six percent of the vote or
- Win at least two seats in regional elections.
National parties must win six percent of the vote and have deputies in at least four states.
The Shinde faction, now named “Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena”, will be able to use the new symbol in the indirect vote of the Eastern Andheri Assembly on November 3 if it decides to contest the election, although its ally the BJP probably presents its own candidate against Faction Nominee Uddhav Thackeray.
The Shinde group had offered “peepal tree”, “sword and shield” and “sun” as choices.
Shinde faction spokesman Sheetal Mhatre said the new symbol was a “blessing of Chhatrapati Shivaji” and will defeat “evil powers”.
With contributions from agencies
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