The names denoted three Thackeray generations — Uddhav’s grandfather Prabhodhankar, his father and Sena founder Bal Thackeray and himself.
“We have submitted three symbols — trishul, rising sun and mashaal (flaming torch),” Uddhav said. “For the party names we have suggested Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Thackeray), Shiv Sena (Balasaheb Prabodhankar Thackeray) or Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).” Uddhav’s symbol picks are, however, not on the list of free symbols notified by the EC for the bye-election.
Urging the EC to take a decision on its submissions at the earliest, Uddhav said: “Since the EC has revealed the names and symbols given by us and so far not given the names and symbols of the other faction, we urge it to take a decision so that we can contest the by-election.”
Uddhav made an emotional address to the state on Facebook in the evening where he displayed the party’s new symbols. This was Uddhav’s first public speech after Sena’s “bow and arrow” symbol and party name were frozen by the EC on Saturday.
Taking a dig at chief minister Eknath Shinde, Uddhav on Sunday said the 40-headed Ravana had taken away the bow and arrow of Lord Ram.
Stating that he and the people had tolerated the betrayal and him having to resign from the CM’s post, but now with Shiv Sena’s name and poll symbol being frozen, it was now getting “too much”. Uddhav said he was “soaked in the tears of Shiv Sainiks”, but the tears weren’t of sadness, but of anger and disgust.
Uddhav said he had not expected this decision from the EC, but reiterated that he had full faith in the judiciary. “The EC decision should not have been taken until the verdict of the 16 MLAs was decided in the Supreme Court. I’m sure that justice will be delivered,” he said.
Warning the Shinde faction that the BJP would “use and throw them”, Uddhav said: “These people haven’t even realised that once their utility is over, the BJP will throw them in the dustbin…you are trying to finish the Shiv Sena, the name given by my grandfather, the party created by my father which I am taking forward. But loyalty can’t be bought or sold. I will turn this crisis into an opportunity. I am not shaken and neither should all of you.”
“The EC froze the symbol bow and arrow. The 40-headed Ravana took away Lord Rama’s bow and arrow. The Shiv Sena, which backed the Marathi Manoos, ignited the Marathi mind and preserved Hindu identity, you have set out to assassinate that Shiv Sena…,” he said.
Referring to former PM Indira Gandhi’s decision not to ban Shiv Sena during the Emergency, Uddhav said, “Congress never banned Shiv Sena…you are trying to finish Shiv Sena…but I am not shaken…I dare you to remove Balasaheb’s name and fight elections. They want to tie the Shiv Sena like a cow in a cowshed, but the Shiv Sena is not a cow, it is a tiger.”