Pune (Maharashtra): Sharad Pawar, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), remarked on the loss of the “bow and arrow” symbol of his ally Uddhav Thackeray faction on February 17, stating that it would not have any major impact. He also stressed that the people would accept the new symbol.
Pawar made his comments after the Election Commission of India (ECI) ordered that the party name “Shiv Sena” and the party symbol “Bow and Arrow” will be given to the Eknath Shinde faction.
The NCP chief asked Thackeray to accept the Election Commission’s decision and take a new symbol.
Pawar said, “It’s the decision of the Election Commission. Once a decision is given, there can be no discussion. Accept it and take a new symbol. It (the loss of the old symbol) will not have any major impact as people will accept (the new symbol). It just would remain in the discussion for the next 15-30 days, that’s it”.
He claimed that the public would embrace the new symbol of the Uddhav Thackeray faction just as they did the Congress’ new symbol after it had to move from two bullocks with a yoke to hand.
Sharad Pawar said, “I remember Indira Gandhi also faced this situation. Congress used to have a ‘two bullocks with a yoke’ symbol. Later they lost it & adopted ‘hand’ as a new symbol & people accepted it. Similarly, people will accept the new symbol (of Uddhav Thackeray faction)”.
Shiv Sena, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, received the party name “Shiv Sena” and the emblem “Bow and Arrow” from the Election Commission of India (ECI) on February 17, dealing a severe blow to the Uddhav Thackery faction.
While the Shinde faction welcomed the decision to be recognized as the real Shiv Sena, the Uddhav Thackeray faction said they would move to the Supreme Court. Earlier, the Eknath Shinde faction burst crackers and celebrated in Nashik today after the Election Commission order.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction accused the Election Commission of haste and said the decision shows “it works as BJP agent”.
The Commission observed in its order that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party is undemocratic and has been “mutilated to undemocratically appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all”. It said such party structures fail to inspire confidence.
Uddhav Thackeray referred to the poll panel’s judgement as a “murder of democracy” and declared that he would appeal it to the Supreme Court.
Uddhav Thackeray said at a press conference, “They should first understand Balasaheb. They have come to know that ‘Modi’s face does not attract people in Maharashtra anymore, so they have to put Balasaheb’s mask on their face for their own benefit. I had said that ECI should not give a decision before the SC verdict. If the party’s existence is decided based on the number of MLAs and MPs, any capitalist can purchase MLA, MP and become CM “.
He said they have the support of people and will go to them. “We will surely go to the Supreme Court against this EC order. We are sure that the SC will set aside this order,” Thackeray said.
Balasaheb Thackeray, the father of Uddhav Thackeray, founded the Shiv Sena.