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Now, Bihar party bids to 'get back' mashaal symbol from Uddhav

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 22, 2023 15:50 IST
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A delegation of Samata Party from Bihar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in Thane and sought his help in getting back its 'mashaal' (flaming torch) election symbol that has been allotted to the Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray.

IMAGE: Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray addresses the media at Matoshree, in Mumbai. Photograph: ANI Photo

The delegation, led by the party president Uday Mandal, met Shinde at the latter's office in Thane on Tuesday evening.

This information was shared by Shinde's city-based office through a release.


The meeting comes days after the Election Commission (EC) recognised the Shinde-led faction as the real Shiv Sena, and allotted the 'bow and arrow' symbol to it.

It also ruled that the 'flaming torch' symbol it had allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena group last year, will remain with it till the conclusion of the Kasba Peth and Chinchwad Assembly bypolls in Pune district scheduled on February 26.

The delegation told Shinde that Samata Party was an old political outfit from Bihar and 'mashaal' (flaming torch) was its election symbol.

However, after the change in power in Maharashtra, the EC allotted it to the Shiv Sena faction led by Thackeray, the release said.

The delegation also told Shinde that they would challenge the EC's decision in the Supreme Court to get back their symbol, it added.

The delegation sought CM Shinde's help in getting back the Samata Party's election symbol the way his faction got the 'bow and arrow' symbol.

The Samata Party -- formed in 1994 by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the late leader George Fernandes -- had earlier both complained to the EC against the allotment of the symbol of Thackeray's party in October last year and moved the Delhi high court against it, but the high court had dismissed the case claiming it had no right over deciding party symbols.

The Samata Party had been de-recognised by the EC in 2004.

While allotting the flaming torch symbol to the Thackeray faction last year, the EC had said the symbol was not in the list of free symbols and was an 'erstwhile reserved symbol' of the now de-recognised Samata Party, but it has decided to allot the same on a request to declare it a free symbol.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray leader and Thane MP Rajan Vichare has submitted a letter to city Police Commissioner Jai Jeet Singh, urging him to thwart any attempts by the Shinde group to usurp the Shiv Sena 'shakhas' (local party offices) in the city.

'Since the birth of Shiv Sena 56 years back, several Shakas have been set up in the city. The ownership of some of them are with the Sena (UBT) and some are private premises and in the custody of the party. The Shinde group grabbed some of the shakhas through force and some others are being grabbed using muscle power,' he alleged.

'In order to avoid a law and order situation, the police machinery should not encourage the Shinde group and give it a warning. If any law and order situation arises, it will be the sole responsibility of the Shinde group and the police,' Vichare added in the letter.

On Tuesday, Maharashtra cabinet minister Deepak Kesarkar, who is the spokesperson of the Shinde faction, said his group was not interested in taking over the Shiv Sena Bhavan in Mumbai or any other property linked to the rival camp headed by Thackeray.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.