Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said the Election Commission’s decision to allot his faction of the Shiv Sena the “bow and arrow” election symbol was a victory of truth.
Addressing a Shivaji Jayanti function in Agra in Uttar Pradesh Sunday evening, he said his faction got the “bow and arrow” symbol because of the blessings of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The majority has a weightage in democracy and the truth has prevailed, he said on the Election Commission decision.
Shinde was in Agra to attend the 393rd birth anniversary celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the 17th-century Maratha ruler, at the Diwan-e-Aam of the Agra Fort.
Union ministers Raosaheb Patil Danve and S P Singh Baghel attended the celebrations.
It was organised by Ajinkya Deogiri Pratisthan, a social and cultural organisation, in collaboration with the Cultural Department of Maharashtra.
He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for allowing the celebrations at the Agra Fort.
Talking to reporters, Shinde said, “It was a historic day for the followers of Shivaji Maharaj to celebrate his jayanti at the Agra Fort.” The Maratha ruler was held captive briefly by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb at the Diwan-e-Aam of the Agra Fort.
The Election Commission on Friday recognised the Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena and ordered allocation of the “bow and arrow” poll symbol to it, delivering a big blow to the rival camp led by former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the outfit in 1966.
In a unanimous order on the six-month-old petition filed by Shinde, the three-member Commission said it had relied on the numerical strength of the party in the legislative wing, where the chief minister enjoyed the support of 40 of the 55 MLAs and 13 of the 18 Lok Sabha members.
It gave a detailed reasoning on why it was forced to ignore the claims of the rival factions led by Shinde and Thackeray respectively over the organisational wing of the party, contending that the amendments to the Shiv Sena constitution in 2018, after the death of founder Balasaheb Thackeray, were undemocratic and paved the way to appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all.
Shinde broke ranks with Uddhav Thackeray in June last year and formed the government in Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP.