‘Freezing Democracy’, Sibal Slams EC over Sena Symbol Freeze

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NEW DELHI – A day after the Election Commission of India froze the symbol of Shiv Sena amid a tussle between the two factions of the party, independent MP Kapil Sibal slammed the ECI for the action, saying that it amounts to “freezing democracy”.

“Election Commission Behind the scenes is the Government’s submission Upfront they call it the Election Commission ! Shame on Institutions who do the Government’s bidding ! said.

“Election Commission Freezes Sena Election symbol Amounts to “freezing” Democracy The “bow and arrow” belongs to the real Shiv Sena led by Udhav The “Defectors Platter” for serving the BJP belongs to Shinde’s faction,” said Sibal in his tweets on Sunday.

In an interim order on Saturday, the poll panel froze the party’s Bow and Arrow symbol, saying, “The Commission hereby makes the following Interim Order, to cover the purpose of the current by-elections and to continue till the final determination of the dispute into the matter.”

It said that neither of the two groups led by Eknath Shinde and other led by Uddhav Thackeray be permitted to use the name of the party ‘Shiv Sena’ and neither of the two groups shall also be permitted to use the symbol ‘Bow & Arrow’, reserved for ‘Shiv Sena’.

“Both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, including, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party ‘Shiv Sena’; and both the groups shall also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purpose of the current by-elections,” the poll panel said.

The Commission has asked both the groups to furnish, latest by 1 p.m. on October 10, the names of their groups by which they may be recognised by the Commission and to this end, give three options in the order of preference, anyone of which may be approved by the Commission.

They have also been asked to furnish choices of symbols which may be allotted to the candidates.

“They may indicate the names of three free symbols, in the order of their preference, anyone of which may be allotted to their candidates by the Commission,” said the Election Commission.

It is evident that the time available is not adequate to ensure the due process which is required to be completed for the proceedings.

However, the Commission takes note of the urgency involved with regards to use of party symbol and party name due to the schedule of the by-elections announced, the order issued by the Election Commission on Saturday said. -IANS

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