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HomeNewsWhy ECI asked Shiv Sena (UBT) to change party campaign song

Why ECI asked Shiv Sena (UBT) to change party campaign song

Notwithstanding the notice from the ECI to expunge certain words from the party's campaign song, Uddhav Thackeray has made it clear that he will not comply

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a notification to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) faction regarding the party’s official campaign song. The song contains the slogan “Jai Bhavani”, which has led the commission to raise objections to the use of a religious reference. The ECI has stated that “Bhavani” is a term commonly linked with the Hindu goddess, expressing worries over the incorporation of such a religious slogan.

In the meantime, Uddhav Thackeray, the chief of Shiv Sena (UBT), has declared that his party will not remove the words “Jai Bhavani” and “Hindu” from their new anthem. Despite receiving a notice from the ECI to expunge these words, Thackeray has made it clear that he will not comply.

During a press briefing in Mumbai, Thackeray mentioned that demanding the removal of “Jai Bhavani” from the anthem was an affront to Maharashtra. He emphasised that the party has introduced an anthem to promote its new poll symbol, the mashal (flaming torch), and the ECI has requested the exclusion of the words “Hindu” and “Jai Bhavani” from it.

“Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj established Hindavi Swaraj with the blessings of goddess Tulja Bhavani. We are not seeking votes in the name of the goddess or Hindu religion. This is disrespectful and will not be accepted,” Thackeray stated.

The Sena UBT chief confirmed that he would continue to use “Jai Bhavani” and “Jai Shivaji” in his public gatherings. “If the electoral body takes action against us, they must clarify what steps they took when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the Karnataka Assembly elections campaign, urged people to say Jai Bajrang Bali and press the button on EVMs. Amit Shah had encouraged individuals to vote for the BJP to receive free darshan of Ram Lalla in Ayodhya,” he added.

The UBT faction of Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, emerged as a Hindutva-based, Marathi regionalist political party in 2022. Following the Maharashtra political crisis, a split occurred resulting in the formation of two factions, with the Election Commission assigning a new symbol to the UBT faction. However, in February 2023, the faction led by Eknath Shinde was recognised by the ECI as the official Shiv Sena structure, prompting Thackeray to challenge this decision at the Supreme Court in New Delhi.

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