A day after the Election Commission froze the “bow and arrow” symbol of the Shiv Sena ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra bypoll in November, the two factions led by Eknath Shinde and Uddhav Thackeray were allotted new party names on Monday. 

The election commission notified in individual letters to both leaders that Thackeray’s faction will be called ShivSena (Uddhav Balashaeb Thackeray) and Shinde’s faction will be known as Balasahebanchi Shivsena. The two parties are expected to face off in the upcoming bypoll in Mumbai’s Andheri East in November. 

Also read: ‘How far can you go’: Uddhav Thackeray’s message to Shiv Sena rebels

The Election Commission also said that Shiv Sena – Uddhav Balashaeb Thackeray will have Flaming Torch as its symbol. The Balasahebanchi Shivsena, however, is yet to receive their symbol as all of their suggestions fell outside the list of free-to-use symbols.

The Election Commission letters reveal that the Uddhav Thackeray faction had suggested, Trishul, Rising Sun and Flaming Torch as their choice of symbols. Trishul could not be allotted because it is a symbol with religious connotations and violated the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, of 1968. Plus, the Shinde faction had also requested it as the first choice.

Rising Sun could not be allotted as it is already the symbol of Tamil Nadu-based party DMK. Although the flaming torch was not a free-to-use symbol on account of being the former Samanta Party’s symbol, the EC said that it was derecognised in 2004. 

Also read: Maha Vikas Aghadi, India’s opposition unity experiment, at risk

The Shinde faction had also requested Trishul and Rising Sun as their first choice of symbol which were disallowed by the EC for the same reasons. Their third choice, Gada, was also denied as it had religious connotations according to the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, of 1968. 

Balasahebanchi Shivsena will have to again submit a set of preferred symbols and will be without one for now.