MUMBAI: Exuding confidence of winning the election with the 'torch' symbol, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday challenged Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde to contest the election with the "stolen bow and arrow", stating that the 'battle has begun'. Shiv Sena (UBT) president Thackeray addressed his supporters on Saturday outside Matoshre.
He further said that the thieves were given the holy "bow and arrow" and that this is their test.
"Thieves were given the holy 'bow and arrow', similarly the 'torch' (mashaal) can be taken away. I challenge them - if they are men, come in front of us even with the stolen 'bow and arrow', we will contest the election with the 'torch'. This is our test, the battle has begun," Thackeray said.
Thackeray further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs the mask of Balasaheb Thackeray to come to Maharashtra but the people of the state know which face is real and which is not.
"I would like to say that they want the face of Balasahev Thackeray, they want the election symbol but not the family of Shiv Sena. PM Narendra Modi needs the mask of Balasaheb Thackeray to come to Maharashtra. People of the state know which face is real and which is not," said Thackeray.
In a major setback to the Uddhav Thackery faction of Shiv Sena, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday allotted the party name "Shiv Sena" and the symbol "Bow and Arrow" to the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Notably, both factions of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray) have been fighting for the bow and arrow symbol of the party since Shinde (present Maharashtra Chief Minister) revolted against Thackeray last year.
While the Shinde faction welcomed the decision of being recognized as the real Shiv Sena, the Uddhav Thackeray faction said they will move the Supreme Court.
Earlier, the Eknath Shinde faction burst crackers and celebrated in Nashik today after the Election Commission order.
The Uddhav Thackeray faction accused the Election Commission of haste and said the decision shows "it works as BJP agent".
The Commission observed in its order that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party is undemocratic and has been "mutilated to undemocratically appoint people from a coterie as office bearers without any election at all".
It said such party structures fail to inspire confidence. Calling the poll panel's decision as "murder of democracy", Uddhav Thackeray said he will approach the Supreme Court against the decision.
Last month, both the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and former CM Uddhav Thackeray-led factions of the Shiv Sena submitted their written statements in support of their claims of control over the party name and symbol to the Election Commission.
The ECI had frozen the bow and arrow symbol of the Shiv Sena and had allotted the 'Two Swords and Shield symbol' to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena and the 'flaming torch' (mashaal) election symbol was allotted to the Uddhav Thackeray faction for the bypoll in Andheri East assembly constituency in November last year.
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