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Maharashtra: Uddhav Dares Rebels to Face Mid-Term Polls, Says no One can Take Away Sena Symbol

PTI |
The Shiv Sena leader said SC’s verdict on the disqualification plea on July 11 will decide not just the future of party, but also of Indian democracy.
Maharashtra: Uddhav Dares Rebels to Face Mid-Term Polls, Says no One can Take Away Sena Symbol

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Image Courtesy: ANI

Mumbai: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said nobody can take away his party's 'bow and arrow' symbol, a remark made in the wake of the rebel Sena faction's assertion that it was the real claimant of the symbol.

Addressing reporters at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra, he also dared the party rebels and the BJP to face mid-term elections in Maharashtra, saying that people should be allowed to take a stand on the toppling of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by him. He said if people do not favour his party in the elections, he would accept it.

Thackeray said the Supreme Court's verdict on the disqualification plea of 16 rebel MLAs scheduled to be given on July 11 will decide not just the future of the Shiv Sena, but also of Indian democracy.

Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde - now the chief minister of Maharashtra - had last month raised a banner of revolt against the party leadership, a move that subsequently led to the fall of the MVA government comprising Sena, NCP and Congress. A day after Thackeray resigned as the state chief minister on June 29, Shinde took oath of the top post with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis being sworn in as his deputy. Shinde enjoys the support of 40 rebel MLAs of the Sena. 

Hardening his stand against the rebels, Thackeray asked how they can claim to love the 'Matoshree' and Thackerays if the dissidents align with those who have subjected him and his family to the worst kind of criticism and even attempted to "destroy his sons' lives".

"According to the law, no one can take away the bow and arrow symbol from Shiv Sena. I am saying this after talking to constitutional experts," he said.        

Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil had on Wednesday said the faction led by Shinde was the real claimant of the party’s 'bow and arrow' poll symbol.

Seeking to assuage the concerns of his party workers, Thackeray said people do not just look at the party symbol while voting, but they also look at the person and also whether the candidate belongs to the Shiv Sena.

The Shiv Sena as a political party and the legislature party are two separate identities, he said, adding that even if just one, 50 or even 100 MLAs leave the party, it does not cease to exist.

"Confusion is being created. Legislature party and registered party are two different identities. No one can take along the party workers with them," Thackeray said.

He also demanded mid-term elections in Maharashtra, saying that people should be allowed to take a stand on toppling of the MVA government led by him.      

"There should be mid-term polls. If we have made a mistake, people will not favour us and that will be acceptable to us," he said.

He said the change of power in the state could have happened with grace and in a dignified manner in 2019 and not with "betrayal" as was done last week.

He was referring to the Sena and BJP's parting of ways after the 2019 Assembly poll results over the issue of rotational chief minister.

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