In a statement directed at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Shiv Sena-UBT President Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday that the party’s “bow and arrow” symbol had been stolen and that the thief needs to be taught a lesson.
Thackeray was addressing his supporters in front of his Bandra home, “Matoshree,” before presiding over a gathering of party leaders. The Election Commission (EC) on Friday gave the party led by CM Shinde the name “Shiv Sena” and its election symbol, the “bow and arrow,” dealing a severe blow to Thackeray.
Bal Thackeray founded the party in 1966 on the tenets of justice for the sons of the soil, and this is the first time the Thackeray family has lost control of it. “The bow and arrow have been stolen. The thief needs to be taught a lesson. He has been caught. I challenge the thief to come out on the field with a bow and arrow and we will counter it with a flaming torch,” Thackeray said.
The EC granted the Thackeray-led faction the flaming torch as its symbol last year. The election monitor declared on Friday that until the Kasba Peth and Chinchwad byelections in the Pune area, this symbol will remain with the Thackeray camp. On February 26, there will be byelections for these positions.
Outside of “Matoshree,” a sizable group of Thackeray supporters assembled as a show of force and chanted anti-Eknath Shinde and pro-Thackeray slogans. According to a party leader, Thackeray asked his party leaders to travel the state and mobilise the cadre.