While the two factions of Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde respectively, assert they belong to the real Sena and also stake claim over the party symbol, former chief minister Thackeray said on Friday that no one can take away “the bow and arrow from Shiv Sena”.
When Shiv Sena was founded by late Balasaheb Thackeray in 1966, it was not a political party, but an organisation and the “roaring tiger” its logo, as has continued to be widely used by Shiv Sainiks at every party office, poster, or official documents.
The ‘bow and arrow’ symbol has been Sena’s identity for over three decades now, since it was assigned to it as the poll symbol by the election commission.
Before that, according to senior political observers and Sena functionaries, Sena contested elections on different symbols. Initially, it contested elections with railway engine as its symbol. Then, it had ‘sword and shield’ as its election symbol.
It was around 1984-85 that Shiv Sena got the ‘bow and arrow’ symbol for the first time and using it to contest the civic body election in Mumbai. It came to power in the Mumbai civic body after taking support of the Congress. It was in 1989 that the Sena launched its mouth piece, Saamana. The same year, the party got the ‘bow and arrow’ as its permanent election symbol, which it is said to be at risk of losing today.
“The symbol is considered lucky as after getting it, the party first came to power in Mumbai corporation and won subsequent elections and even came to power in the state in 1995 with BJP alliance,” a Sena functionary said, adding that it is disheartening to see that the same symbol is a bone of contention between the two factions.