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Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Friday approached the Supreme Court to retain the train engine as its poll symbol for the forthcoming municipal polls in the state.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice T.S. Thakur decided to hear the MNS plea next Friday (March 19) as senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi apprised the bench of the petition pending with the court’s registry.

Rohtagi told the court that the MNS was given the train engine as a poll symbol following a direction by the apex court last September in the run-up to the state assembly elections. The party fought the 2009 assembly elections with that symbol.

He said the MNS in the last assembly elections won 13 seats, besides garnering a significant percentage of polled votes, entitling it to be recognised as a state-level party.

A political party is entitled to a reserved poll symbol only after getting recognition by the Election Commission as a state or national level party.

But the apex court had allowed the MNS, Bahujan Aghadi and Jansurya Shakti to have reserved poll symbol even before getting their first vote in any election.

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