Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the Election Commission's order recognising Eknath Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena was "dangerous for democracy", and he would challenge it in the Supreme Court.
Speaking at a press conference hours after the EC decision, Thackeray accused the poll panel of having become the Union government's slave. "It may even take away our symbol of flaming torch tomorrow," he said.
He also appealed to his followers not to give up, and fight the battle to win. The party and people were with him, he said. ''Let the thieves rejoice for a few days," he said, reacting to the setback to his faction. The Supreme Court is the last hope to ensure that democracy is alive in the country, Thackeray said. If this hope vanished, we should stop holding elections forever and become a one-man rule, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi should announce that after 75 years of independence the country was not a democracy any longer but moving towards tyranny, he added.
"Those who think they have got state recognition for their theft will always remain thieves,'' Thackeray said, referring to rebel Sena MLAs led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Shinde.
He also accused Shinde of stealing party founder Balasaheb Thackeray's photo, party and symbol, adding that he will not be able to "digest this theft for long". "The party and people are with me. We complied with everything that the EC sought and submitted all papers about membership and
organisational strength, and still the EC ruled against us," Thackeray said. The EC's decision in the Shinde faction's favour was also an indication that civic polls in Mumbai and elsewhere will happen soon, Thackeray said. The EC decision was a conspiracy as recently deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister Narayan Rane had publicly said that the Shiv Sena's symbol will be given to the Shinde faction, he alleged. "The Shinde group might have stolen the bow and arrow symbol on paper but the real bow and arrow which Balasaheb Thackeray used to worship is with me," Thackeray said. He described the prevailing situation like the one that existed on June 19, 1966, when Shiv Sena was formed.
"The Shiv Sena will rise again and will not be finished, he said. "Maharashtra has always fought against injustice and people will teach the thieves a lesson,'' he said.
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First Published: Feb 17 2023 | 10:41 PM IST