Eknath Shinde, a footsoldier of Balasaheb Thackeray’s army is now the chief minister of Maharashtra. Thus fulfilling the saying of, ‘gaddi pe shivsainik hi baithega’. Balasaheb Thackeray fought for the people and the soil, which Shinde seems to be emanating. Eknath Shinde has not only brought down the Uddhav Empire but has also claimed the legacy of Balasaheb and his ‘son of the soil’ politics and Hindutva.
ECI calls it the end of the Sena Vs. Sena battle
The Election Commission has made the long-awaited decision. The ECI, after freezing Shiv Sena’s traditional ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, has now allotted new names and symbols to both the factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde.
On Monday, the Election Commission named “Shiv Sena-Uddhav BalaSaheb Thackeray” to the group of a few members rallying behind Uddhav Thackeray, and it okayed the “flaming torch” (mashaal) as the election symbol.
The Shinde faction was awarded the ‘two swords and a shield’ symbol with the name ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’.
Read More: The Life and Legacy of Balasaheb Thackeray
Eknath Shinde retains the legacy of Balasaheb
The Maharashtra chief minister expressed his disappointment over Sena’s’ bow and arrow’symbol not being allotted to the group though they had merit. However, he cited the decision as a victory of the strong Hindutva views of the late Balasaheb Thackeray. In a statement, Shinde said, “We have always taken a stand that this is the party of Balasaheb. I am happy to get this name. We thank the ECI. ”
The name allotted is Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, which translates to Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena, which was the second choice of the faction, the first being Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray). The symbol of ‘two swords and a shield’ is not new to the party as it has held a connection with the symbol since the days of Prabodhankar Thackeray. The Shiv Sena was launched in 1966, whose initials, like the name, were decided by Balasaheb’s father, Prabodhankar Thackeray.
It fought the 1968 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election with the same symbol. While the symbol assigned to Shinde dates back to 1968, Udhhav was assigned a Shiv Sena symbol as early as 1990.It was in the 1990 assembly polls that Chhagan Bhujbal, the only Shiv Sena MLA, won with the flaming torch symbol.
Shinde also linked the sword and shield symbol with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, from whom Balasaheb Thackeray himself derived inspiration and resemblance for the party. He called the Shiv Sena the mighty sena of Veer Shivaji Maharaj.
Uddhav remains decimated
Since the day Eknath Shinde rebelled against the secular Thackeray, he has claimed not only the party that Uddhav Thackeray was running as per the instructions of his secular friends, but gradually he has also gained the support of the family, with Jaidev Thackeray voicing for him at the Dussehra rally. Now, the symbol and the name have again come to prove that Eknath Shinde is the actual inheritor of Balasaheb’s legacy.
The order given by the Election Commission of India is an interim as it has done this to allow both the factions for the recent Andheri by-polls. However, in the time to come, the Election Commission will decide on the dispute over which faction can use the name ‘Shiv Sena’ and the party’s traditional bow and arrow symbol.
The decision will be driven by numbers, and the numbers stand with CM Shinde, be it within the Thackeray family, from the party cadre, or the legislative assembly, or Parliament of India. It is the deeds of Uddhav Thackeray that have led to this fate.
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