A few days after the new party symbol and name were cleared by the Election Commission, the Uddhav Thackeray faction has written a letter to the EC. The faction claimed “bias, favoritism, and foul play” while distributing the party symbols.
After Eknath Shinde’s coup against the former chief minister of Maharashtra splintered the Shiv Sena, the Uddhav side is at odds with the Shinde camp. Before the crucial byelections in Mumbai’s Andheri, the Election Commission had frozen the Shiv Sena’s election symbol.
“Several communications and actions of the ECI (Election Commission of India) have given rise to a serious apprehension of bias in the mind of the respondent (Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray),” the letter reads. Thackeray’s advocate, Vivek Singh, has written the letter.
The Election Commission approved a burning fire torch, or Mashaal, earlier this week as the election symbol for the Uddhav faction, along with the name Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray.
The team has also filed a case with the high court, claiming that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was “under pressure” to reject Rujuta Latke’s resignation. Latke is Team Uddhav’s candidate in the next Andheri East by-election; however, she cannot run unless the civic organization releases her from her position. The final day to submit nominations is this coming Friday.
The bypoll in Andheri has become necessary after the death of MLA Ramesh Latke. This is the first election following the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.