The Election Commission on Monday allotted flaming torch' (mashaal) election symbol to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, rejecting their claim to the Trishul' citing religious connotation. In an order on the dispute in the Shiv Sena, the Election Commission allotted ShivSena - Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray' as the party name for the Thackeray faction and Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena' (Balasaheb's Shiv Sena) and the name for the Eknath Shinde group of the party.
The Commission also rejected Trishul' (trident) and 'Gada' (mace) as election symbols claimed by the two factions of the Shiv Sena, citing their religious connotation. It also pointed out that the Rising Sun' election symbol sought by both factions was reserved for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The Commission also asked the Shinde faction to submit a fresh list of three symbols by 10 am on Tuesday. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar is learnt to have taken a tough stand against the allocation of symbols with religious connotations to political parties.
The rival factions of Shiv Sena had both claimed Trishul' and rising sun' as election symbols. Shinde had rebelled against Thackeray's leadership, claiming the support of 40 of the Shiv Sena's 55 MLAs and 12 of its 18 members in the Lok Sabha.