Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday told his supporters that the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol has been stolen and the thief needs to be taught a lesson, a remark aimed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Thackeray was addressing his supporters outside ‘Matoshree’, his residence at Bandra here before chairing a meeting of party leaders.
In a big blow to Thackeray, the Election Commission (EC) on Friday allotted the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and its poll symbol ‘bow and arrow’ to the group led by CM Shinde. This is for the first time that the Thackeray family has lost control of the party that was founded in 1966 by Bal Thackeray on the principles of justice for the sons of the soil.
“The bow and arrow have been stolen. The thief needs to be taught a lesson. He has been caught. I challenge the thief to come out on the field with a bow and arrow and we will counter it with a flaming torch,” Thackeray said.
Flaming torch is the symbol allotted to the Thackeray-led faction by the EC last year. The poll watchdog on Friday ruled that this symbol will remain with the Thackeray camp till the Kasba Peth and Chinchwad bypolls in Pune district. Byelections to these seats will be held on February 26.
A large number of Thackeray loyalists gathered outside ‘Matoshree’ in a show of strength and raised slogans against Eknath Shinde and in support of Thackeray.
Thackeray asked his party leaders to tour the state and mobilise the cadre, a party leader said.