Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on Friday described the Election Commission's decision to recognise his faction as the real Shiv Sena victory of truth and people.
Shinde told reporters that in a democracy, what matters is the numbers and he has them.
"This is victory of truth and people as well as blessings of Balasaheb Thackeray," Shinde said.
“I thank Election Commission. Majority counts in democracy,” Shinde said. “This is the victory of Balasaheb's legacy. Ours is the true Shiv Sena,” he added.
“We set up the government in Maharashtra (with BJP) last year keeping in mind thoughts of Balasaheb,” Shinde said.
Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said it is now proved that Eknath Shinde leads the real Shiv Sena. The decision has been given on merit, he added.
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut described the EC order as murder of democracy.
Raut told reporters that his party will go to the people against the poll panel decision.
“We will challenge the decision. Such a decision was expected. All this has happened under pressure. I don't have faith in Election Commission,” he said.
This is a victory of khoke (boxes), Raut said, in an apparent reference to allegations of Shinde faction MLAs taking money to switch sides.
Shinde group minister Uday Samant said truth has prevailed. The revolt has been successful, he added, in an apparent reference to the Shinde-led MLAs breaking away and forming a government with BJP last year.
NCP leader Supriya Sule said, “We are surprised over the EC decision. It is an autonomous body and I don't know on what basis the poll panel took this decision.” “The Shiv Sena was founded by Balasaheb Thackeray and he had decided that Uddhav Thackeray will be his political successor,” Sule said.
Election Commission's decision to recognise the Shinde faction as the real Shiv Sena was on expected lines, said Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)