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Business News/ News / India/  Will Uddhav Thackeray continue as Shiv Sena president? His term ends on THIS date
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Will Uddhav Thackeray continue as Shiv Sena president? His term ends on THIS date

Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde concluded their arguments before the Election Commission (EC) on Friday and asserted that they are the real Shiv Sena. The EC at the end of the hearing told both the factions to submit their written submissions, if any, by 30 January.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray while addressing party's Gatpramukh rally, at Nesco Complex, in Mumbai on Wednesday. (Image: ANI)Premium
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray while addressing party's Gatpramukh rally, at Nesco Complex, in Mumbai on Wednesday. (Image: ANI)

Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde concluded their arguments before the Election Commission (EC) on Friday and asserted that they are the real Shiv Sena. The EC at the end of the hearing told both the factions to submit their written submissions, if any, by 30 January. As per Hindustan Times report, a final order by the EC is expected in February.

In between this, the question of Uddhav Thackeray being the party president have arise. Prior to sending written submission by 30 January, Thackery's term as party president will come to an end on 23 January.

Sena UBT had requested EC to allow the party to hold internal elections or either maintain status quo in order to continue Thackeray as party president, however, the EC has maintained its silence on it, as per HT report.

When asked about post of party president, party leader Anil Parab said that Thackeray would continue in the post since there was no specific directive by the ECI. 

While speaking to the media, he said, “Uddhav Thackeray is and will be the Shiv Sena party president for party workers and leaders," as reported by Hindustan Times. 

Further adding, he said, “For party workers, there is no need of any permission. We sought the ECI’s permission only to comply with the legal formalities."

Since 2018 National Executive meeting, Parab said that there was no one had raised any questions on the re-election of Uddhav Thackeray.

In January 2018, Thackeray was re-elected as the president by the party's national executive. Prior to that on 23 January 2013, Thackeray became the party president nearly two months after the Sena founder Bal Thackeray died. It is also Bal Thackeray’s birth anniversary on 23 January.

He also added that, “There is no provision of the Mukhya Neta (Chief Leader) post in the Shiv Sena constitution. So CM Eknath Shinde electing himself in that post is invalid and unconstitutional. There is no split in the party, and the bow-and-arrow symbol and the name of the party will be with us."

Earlier on 10 January, as reported by PTI, the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena had cited a 1971 Supreme Court verdict, which gave recognition to a group led by former prime minister Indira Gandhi as the original Congress, before the EC as it staked claim to the outfit founded by Balasaheb Thackeray.

"We cited the Sadiq Ali judgment before the Election Commission. We have the majority and that is the real test," Jethmalani had told reporters, claiming the support of 40 of the Sena's 56 MLAs and 13 of the 18 members in the Lok Sabha.

The Sadiq Ali judgment of the Supreme Court refers to a case of a split in the Congress after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi ensured the defeat of the official party nominee in the presidential election of 1969. The apex court had upheld the EC's authority to decide on matters related to the election symbol of a political party.

On this, Parab, “Our counsel argued that the party is not just MPs and MLAs but consists of the National Executive and the party organisation, and we have the majority in this."

He further added, “The Shinde faction cited the Sadiq Ali case, but we told the ECI that only when there is an equal split in the party are the number of elected representatives taken into consideration. In this case, there has been no split; some members have defected. The party organisation is with Uddhav Thackeray."

Shinde had walked out of the Shiv Sena in June 2022 to become the chief minister of Maharashtra with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), after toppling the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government. The Shinde and Thackeray factions of the Sena have been locked in a battle for the control of the organisation since then.

In November last year, the EC had asked the Sena factions to submit fresh documents to back their claim to the party's name and poll symbol.

The commission had also asked them to exchange the documents submitted to it with each other.

In an interim order in October, the commission had barred the two factions from using the party name or its "bow-and-arrow" symbol.

Later, it had allotted "Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray" as the party name for the Thackeray faction and "Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena" (Balasaheb's Shiv Sena) as the name for the Shinde group.

The EC had said the interim order will be in force "till the final determination of the dispute".

Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut on Tuesday has said that the EC should not decide on the party's poll symbol till the Supreme Court gives its judgment on the disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs from the camp led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Talking to reporters, Raut asserted there is no split in the Shiv Sena.

"Those who have won on the symbol of the Shiv Sena have split (off). This does not mean that there is a division in the party. This perceived split is like a mirage. Some MLAs and MPs have left, but the party is intact," he said.

He said till the time the apex court gives its verdict on the disqualification of the MLAs, the EC should not hurry in taking a decision on the matter (poll symbol).

The Supreme Court had said it would commence hearing on 14 February on a batch of pleas, including the one seeking the disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena MLAs from the Shinde camp, related to the Maharashtra political crisis triggered by the Shiv Sena’s division.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 21 Jan 2023, 08:17 AM IST
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