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Shinde's party is 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena'; Uddhav gets flaming torch symbol

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Mumbai, Oct 10: The Election Commission on Monday allotted 'Balasahebanchi Shivsena' as party name for Eknath Shinde's faction of Shiv Sena. The polling body said the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction can use flaming torch, while the Eknath Shinde faction was asked to submit three options by 10 am on Tuesday.

Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray

The Commission also okayed 'flaming torch' (mashaal) as election symbol to the Uddhav Thackeray faction. While the poll body denied Trishul and Gada (mace) as poll symbols to rival Shiv Sena factions, citing religious connotations.

The Commission allotted 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena' as party name for the Eknath Shinde faction; and asked it to select a fresh symbol.

The Election Commission on Saturday froze the Shiv Sena's bow and arrow symbol amid a tussle between the factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde.

40-headed Ravana seized 'bow and arrow' of Lord Ram: Uddhav Thackeray's dig at Shinde 40-headed Ravana seized 'bow and arrow' of Lord Ram: Uddhav Thackeray's dig at Shinde

The poll body had also asked the two factions to choose from among the symbols that are available and submit three options for their interim markers by 1 pm on Monday.

Welcoming the EC order, Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde said the allotment of name 'Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena' to his faction is a victory of the strong Hindutva views of late Balasaheb Thackeray.

"Finally the victory of Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva ideals. We are the inheritors of his ideals," Shinde's tweeted in Hindi.

"The new symbol, new name 'ShivSena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)' -we're extremely proud of Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray. He has worked as a Chief Minister, saving thousands of lives in Maharashtra. We have been a truthful honest govt, working for the people," said Aaditya Thackeray.

"Everyone knows how he has worked. It also has the name of Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray in it. Most importantly, the 'Mashaal' (flaming torch) is something we will take with pride to every home," he added.

Since, the last date for filing nominations for the November 3 by-election in the Andheri East Assembly seat is October 14, if the two factions decide to contest they will have to use the new symbols.

The Commission also rejected 'Trishul' (trident) and rising 'Gada' (mace) as election symbols claimed by the two factions of the Shiv Sena, citing their religious connotation.

It also pointed out that the 'Rising Sun' election symbol sought by both factions was reserved for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The Commission noted that the 'flaming torch' symbol was earlier allotted to the Samata Party, which was derecognised in 2004. The Commission said it had decided to list the 'flaming torch' as a 'free symbol' following the request from the Thackeray faction. The rival factions of Shiv Sena had both claimed 'Trishul' and 'Rising Sun' as election symbols. The rival factions had also listed 'Shiv Sena - Balasaheb Thackeray' as their first choice for the party name.

with PTI inputs

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