New Delhi [India]: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday moved the Delhi High Court against the Election Commission of India (ECI) decision to freeze the Election Symbol of Bow and Arrow.
The Writ Petition moved by Uddhav Thackeray seeking direction to quash the order passed by the Election Commission of India on October 8, freezing the election symbol of the Shivsena Political Party. In the alternative, the petition seeks directions to consider and allot the symbol proposed by petitioner Uddhav without restricting the choice of the symbol from the list of free symbols notified by ECI.
After the Election Commission of India (ECI) froze the Shiv Sena’s election symbol of ‘bow and arrow’, the Uddhav Thackeray faction has also submitted the ‘Trishul’, ‘Mashaal’ and ‘Rising Sun’ symbols as their choices in ECI.
The plea stated that “Since bye-elections have been notified in the State of Maharashtra for 166-Andheri East constituency for which the last date of nominations is October 14, and the date of poll is November 3, grave prejudice will be caused to the petitioner and his party if the impugned order is not stayed.”
“While passing the impugned order, the Election Commission of India has failed to consider that from September 19 to October 8, there has been no change in circumstances regarding the claim set up by both the groups in respect of majority and control of the party,” the plea stated.
“Therefore, merely because a bye-election was announced in Andheri East Constituency, wherein admittedly Eknathrao Sambhaji Shinde (Present Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra) or his group are not even setting up any candidate, there was no reason for ECI to change the existing status quo regarding the use of name and Symbol by the Petitioner by freezing the symbol of the party,” the plea further stated.
The plea also stated that on January 23, 2018, the Organizational Elections of the Party for the term 2018-2023 were held as per Rule V of the Rules and Regulations of Shiv Sena, which mandates intra-party elections to be conducted once in five years. In the said elections, the Petitioner, Uddhav Thackeray, was unanimously elected as the Shivsena Paksha Pramukh of the Party.
Notably, EC passed the interim order saying in Andheri East bye polls, neither of the two groups shall be permitted to use the symbol “Bow and Arrow”, reserved for “Shiv Sena”.
The Commission’s ruling came amid the ongoing symbol war between the Uddhav Thackeray camp and rival Eknath Shinde camp.