Uddhav Thackeray moves HC against EC order freeze Shiv Sena name, poll symbol

New Delhi: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction on Monday (October 10, 2022) moved the Delhi Supreme Court to request the quashing of the Election Commission (EC) order to freeze the party name and election symbol. The petition, filed by Thackeray, has challenged the EC’s Oct. 8 injunction, claiming it was passed in complete violation of the principles of natural justice and without hearing the parties, PTI news agency reported. The petition, which drafted the polling station and Maharashtra’s chief minister, Eknath Shinde, as parties, requested the annulment of the EC order and, in the alternative, directions to consider and assign the symbol proposed by Thackeray without the choice of the symbol from the list of free symbols communicated by the commission.

“As by-elections have been announced in Maharashtra State for 166-Andheri East constituency for which the last nomination date is October 14, 2022, and the poll date is November 3, the petitioner will be seriously disadvantaged ( Thackeray) and his party as the contested order does not continue to exist,” the plea said.

Citing examples of the dispute regarding the AIADMK’s “two leaves” election symbol and similar quarrels in the JD(U) and the Samajwadi party, it said that in all these cases the order to freeze or refuse to symbol was adopted by the EBI only after hearing the parties.

According to the petition, in this case, without having the opportunity to be heard, despite a petition by the petitioner to request a hearing, the ECI showed undue haste and took the order to remove the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol from freezing the political party – led by Shiv Sena by Uddhav Thackeray, which symbol is intrinsically identified with it and has been used by it since the party’s founding in 1966.

It is pertinent to note here that the said symbol was developed, designed and copyrighted by the late Balasaheb Thackeray called the advocacy arguing that the freezing of the symbol is caused by malice in the law and is incorrect as it Preliminary response submitted by the petitioner to ECI clearly shows that the petition could not be sustained there on behalf of Shinde.

In particular, Shinde had raised a flag of rebellion against Thackeray, accusing him of forming an “unnatural alliance” with Congress and the NCP. More than 40 of Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs had backed Shinde, forcing Thackeray to resign as chief minister of Maharashtra.

Twelve of the 18 Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena also came forward to support Shinde, who later claimed to be the leader of the original Shiv Sena.

Earlier on Oct. 8, the polling station had barred the factions of Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena from using the party name and associated election symbol in the polls of the Nov. 3 Andheri East Assembly.

In an interim injunction over the rival factions’ claims for control over the organization, the Commission asked them to propose three different name choices by Monday, as well as as many free symbols for assignment to their respective groups.

Meanwhile, Thackeray and Shinde factions have formally submitted their choice of three symbols and names to the EC. The EC will now examine them to ensure that the symbols they seek are not comparable and are not used by any other party. Also, the entered symbols must not be already frozen.

Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena Gives 3 Choices For Poll Symbol

In a virtual speech on Sunday, Thackeray said his camp has submitted three names: “Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray, Shiv Sena Balasaheb Prabodhankar Thackeray and Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray” to the EC.

Thackeray also said his faction has presented three options to the EC – a rising sun, a blazing torch (mashal) and a trident – and expects it to assign one of them as the poll symbol for the by-election.

(With input from the agency)

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