The Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has received a breather since the Election Commission has postponed a hearing till January over the claims for ownership of the Shiv Sena election symbol, bow & arrow. The first hearing today was over within a few minutes since EC officials explained to both sides the procedure they will follow to ascertain the claim made by the Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray and the one under chief minister Eknath Shinde. Sena (Uddhav) MP Anil Desai told the media that the EC will take a call on whether to proceed on the material submitted to it so far or to ask for any supplementary information. The next hearing is likely to be held in the first week of January 2023. The EC’s decision to defer the hearing will enable the Shinde-Fadnavis government to face the ensuing winter session of the legislature more confidently. The session will be held in Nagpur later this month. Its schedule and other details will be decided at a meeting of the business advisory committee (BAC) to be held in Mumbai on December 13. The government is in an upbeat mood since Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Shinde near him in Nagpur and patted him on the back. The television clip has gone viral. To bolster its confidence, the EC’s decision will be helpful, the ruling coalition feels.