Shinde faction is Shiv Sena: Election Commission

Nearly eight months after his coup in Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde’s claim on the party’s name and bow-and-arrow symbol has been cleared by the Election Commission in a huge setback for former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

In a 78-page order on the protracted battle for control of the organisation, the commission said Mr Shinde, who became Chief Minister after the revolt, was supported by MLAs with 76 per cent of the party’s winning votes in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls.

It allowed the faction led by Uddhav Thackeray, whose father Bal Thackeray founded the Shiv Sena in 1966, to keep the ‘flaming torch’ poll symbol assigned last year.

The Election Commission also held the 2018 changes to the Shiv Sena party constitution as “undemocratic” since it centralised the party’s control and, in broader to all parties, asked them to ensure that their constitutions allowed free, fair and transparent elections to the party positions.