Uddhav To EC on Poll Symbol

Uddhav To EC on Poll Symbol: ‘Serious Apprehension of Bias’

Uddhav To EC on Poll Symbol

Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday wrote to the Election Commission raising objections to its recent decisions concerning the two factions ahead of next month’s by-poll in the East Andheri seat.

In a letter, Thackeray’s lawyer said that several communications and actions of ECI have given a rise to a “serious apprehension of bias in the mind of the respondent” (Uddhav Thackeray faction).

Eknath Shinde had taken oath as Chief Minister earlier this year following a split in Shiv Sena. The two groups are contesting over the “bow and arrow” symbol of Shiv Sena which has been frozen by the Election Commission ahead of the East Andheri and has given them new names and new symbols.

The poll panel on Tuesday allotted the ‘two swords and shield symbol’ to the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena and allotted ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’ (Balasaheb’s Shiv Sena) as its name ahead of the by-poll.

The faction led by Uddhav Thackeray was allotted the ‘flaming torch’ (Mashaal) election symbol and name of ‘ShivSena – Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’

The poll panel had earlier barred the rival groups from using the symbol “bow and arrow”.

The letter by the Uddhav Thackeray faction raised objections against recent decisions in the matter of allotment of interim election symbol and name to the party.

“The respondent’s apprehension was confirmed when he came to know that the petitioner had also very tellingly given the same first choice of name, and the same first and second choice of the symbol as the respondent, thus, effectively precluding the respondent from being allotted his first choice of name and the first and second choice of symbol.

“This could not have happened but for the fact that the Commission shared a privileged communication from the respondent on its public website. This one-sided and unfair disclosure gave the petitioner information that he immediately used to his advantage by ensuring that his preferences regarding name and symbol blocked the respondent from being allotted his first preference,” the letter said.

“It is also curious that while the letter allocating the symbol of Flaming Torch to the petitioner was uploaded on the website of the Commission without publication of the image of the symbol, the letter allocating a symbol to the Respondent contained a large pictorial representation of the symbol, thus effectively communicating to the voters’ elections. The same is again giving an unfair advantage to the petitioner,” it added. (ANI)

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