New Delhi: The Election Commission on Saturday barred the Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde from using the party name and its election symbol in the Andheri East assembly bypoll.
In an interim order over the claims by the rival factions for control of the organisation, the commission asked them to suggest by Monday three name choices for their groups, and also as many free symbols.
The Commission can allocate the name and the symbol to both factions from the options submitted.
The interim order came on Saturday on the Shinde faction's request seeking it be allocated the symbol as the Andheri East assembly bypoll is approaching.
Earlier, the Election Commission had asked the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena to respond by Saturday on rival Eknath Shinde group's claim on the party's 'bow and arrow' election symbol.
The Commission's directive came on Friday after the Shinde faction submitted a memorandum seeking it be allocated the symbol as the Andheri East assembly bypoll is approaching.
In a letter to Thackeray, the Commission had directed it to furnish comments along with requisite documents latest by 2 pm on October 8.
Shinde had raised a banner of revolt against Thackeray for entering into an "unnatural alliance" with the Congress and NCP. Over 40 of the Shiv Sena's 55 MLAs had supported Shinde, forcing the resignation of Thackeray from the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister.
Twelve of the 18 Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena also came out in support of Shinde, who later claimed to be the leader of the original Shiv Sena.
The Andheri East bypoll is the first after Shinde and the BJP unseated the MVA government in June, and is considered by political analysts as a precursor to settling of claims by Shinde and Thackeray to be the "real Shiv Sena".