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'Bow & Arrow Symbol Will Remain With Us': Uddhav Amid Tussle With Rebel Faction

Uddhav Thackeray also demanded mid-term elections in Maharashtra.

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Amid a tussle with the rebel faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde over the Shiv Sena's poll symbol, party president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday, 8 July, stated that the 'bow and arrow' symbol would remain with the original party.

Thackeray also demanded that mid-term elections be conducted in Maharashtra, stating that people should be allowed to take a stand on the fall of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which he had led for over two years.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Thackeray said the change of guard in the state could have been done with grace and in a dignified manner in 2019, and not as it was carried out last week with "betrayal."

Thackeray also hit out at the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs for not speaking up when the BJP targeted and "abused" him and his family over the last two-and-a-half years.

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"You keep in touch with them and betray your own party like this," Thackeray said without naming Shinde.

'SC Verdict Will Decide Future of Both Sena, Indian Democracy'

On Friday, Thackeray moved the Supreme Court challenging Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari's decision to invite Shinde to form the government in the state.

The Uddhav-led Sena faction has also challenged the Assembly speaker's election and the floor test that proved the rebel camp's majority. The Thackeray camp has argued that the floor test was illegal, since 16 rebel MLAs who voted were facing disqualification.

The governor's order on 28 June came hours after BJP leaders, including former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, met Koshyari and urged to ask the Thackeray-led government to prove its majority in the Assembly, claiming that the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance was in minority.

The top court will hear the plea of the Thackeray-led faction on 11 July. The apex court is also scheduled to give its decision on a petition seeking disqualification of 16 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs.

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Speaking about this, Thackeray said the Supreme Court's verdict would decide not just the future of Shiv Sena but also the future of Indian democracy.

Original Party Stays Even With Split in Legislature Party

Thackeray said he had consulted constitutional experts, who told him that there could be a split in the legislature party, but the original party stood the same and could be assumed to have been brought to an end.

"The legislature party and original party are two different entities. There should be no confusion over the symbol. Shiv Sainiks should rest assured that the bow and arrow symbol will remain with us," he said.

Thackeray also said he would take a decision on which candidate to support for the presidential election after consulting with the party MPs.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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