In the Supreme Court, the Election Commission’s decision to award the name and symbol of Shiv Sena to Eknath Shinde was challenged by former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray. On February 17, 2023, Eknath Shinde’s application was allowed by the ECI (Election Commission of India) seeking the allotment of the official Shiv Sena symbol “bow and arrow” and name.
Shiv Sena was founded by Bal Thackeray, father of Uddhav Thackeray, in 1966. Mr. Shinde with the help of the BJP, escaped with over 40 Sena MLAs. This triggered Mr. Thackeray’s government including two allies the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. On February 19, during a conversation with the media, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar clarified that he would not get involved in the ongoing controversy about the Shiv Sena name and Symbol.
A massive outrage was addressed among Mr. Thackeray’s faction due to the decision of the Election Commission because of which they said to move to the Supreme Court. They also accused the Election Commission of working “as a BJP agent”. To this, the NCP Chief said that “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 is not going to have any major impact as people will accept.” He also added that “I remember Indira Gandhi also faced this situation. Congress used to have a ‘two bullocks with a yoke’ symbol. Later they lost it and adopted ‘hand’ as a new symbol and people accepted it. Similarly, people will accept the new symbol [of Thackeray’s faction].”
Today, the matter was mentioned before the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud by Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishekh Manu Singhvi to list the Shiv Sena case for hearing on February 21. CJI did not allow this mention and asked the Senior Advocate to mention it tomorrow, February 21, 2023.