Following the split in the party, the EC had asked the rival factions led by Thackeray and Shinde to submit documents by August 8 in support of their claims on the election symbol of the Sena
Uddhav Thackeray. File Photo
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday exhorted party workers to focus on increasing the membership, as this will prove crucial before the Election Commission (EC).
Addressing party workers at his residence 'Matoshree', Thackeray said the party's membership should swell 10 times and alleged that the Eknath Shinde-led faction had engaged professional agencies for this work.
Following the split in the party, the EC had asked the rival factions led by Thackeray and Shinde to submit documents by August 8 in support of their claims on the election symbol of the Sena.
The EC has sought documents, including letters of support from the legislative and organisational wings of the Sena and the written statements of the rival factions.
The Shinde faction has the support of the 40 of 55 MLAs of Shiv Sena and at least a dozen MPs.
The rebellion has dented the Shiv Sena's traditional support base at many places in the state with local leaders and sainiks crossing over to the Shinde faction.
"Our membership should reach a level, where no one even dares to needle the Shiv Sena. The EC will ask about membership and the number of affidavits the party (his faction) has," Thackeray said.
With both rival groups claiming to be the original party, membership will play a crucial role when the fight goes before the EC to decide which faction is the real Shiv Sena.
"The membership should swell 10 times. It should go over a lakh in Nashik. They (the Shinde faction) have engaged professional agencies for the task, but I only have you (workers)," the Sena chief said in his appeal to party workers.
Thackeray asked the party workers to hold on to the bhagwa (saffron flag of the Sena) tightly.
"Forget snatching, the hand that dares to touch the bhagwa should break," Thackeray said.
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