Eknath Shinde’s Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena gets two swords & shield as ECI’s choice symbol

In a new step in the allocation of election badges to the two factions of the Shiv Sena, the Indian Electoral Commission has granted two swords and a shield symbol (Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena) to the Eknath Shinde faction. This comes after the Uddhav Thackeray group received Mashaal (flaming flame) as their election symbol yesterday.

Shiv Sena’s bow-and-arrow symbol had previously been frozen by India’s Electoral Commission as both parts of the party continued to deny it. The Eknath-Shinde camp had previously proposed a trumpet, a blunt mace and a sword as electoral symbols, but all three were rejected and they were ordered to submit three new ideas to the Electoral Commission.

The two groups attempted to finalize their emblems before the Andheri East Bypoll, which became vacant in May 2022 following the death of Shiv Sena leader Ramesh Latke. The elections will take place on November 3 this year.

Shinde had defied Uddhav Thackeray for forming an “unnatural alliance” with Congress and the NCP. Thackay was forced to resign as Chief Minister of Maharashtra when more than 40 of Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs supported Shinde. Shinde, later recognized as the original leader of Shiv Sena, gained the support of 12 of Shiv Sena’s 18 Lok Sabha members.

On October 5, both Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde engaged in a war of words, with Thackeray calling Eknath Shinde “Kattappa” and Shinde hitting back. During a speech, Thackay called Shinde “Katappa” and said: “The only thing I feel bad and angry about is that the people I put in charge (of the state) became “Katappa” when I was hospitalized gave us away. They cut me thinking I’ll never come out of the hospital.”

To which Shinde replied, while addressing a huge crowd at Dussehra celebrations: “They call me ‘Katappa’. I want to tell you that even ‘Katappa’ had self-respect and didn’t use double standards like you do.”

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