Shinde camp gets green signal for Dasara rally, but not at Shivaji Park

Shinde camp gets green signal for Dasara rally, but not at Shivaji Park


With Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation yet to take a call on allotment of ‘Shivtirth’ for the annual event, the Uddhav Thackeray faction is likely to approach the courts in case permission is denied for the October 5 rally

With Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation yet to take a call on allotment of ‘Shivtirth’ for the annual event, the Uddhav Thackeray faction is likely to approach the courts in case permission is denied for the October 5 rally

Though Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faction has got nod to address a rally on Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority exhibition ground at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), uncertainty continues to looms large over Uddhav Thackeray’s Dasara rally at Shivtirth (Shivaji Park referred by the Shiv Sena) on October 5 as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) yet to take call.

While both, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction and rival Eknath Shinde camp had filed applications with the BMC seeking a nod to conduct the annual customary rally at Shivaji Park. Applications were also filed with the MMRDA for the exhibition ground.

The MMRDA has accepted Mr. Shinde faction plea while rejecting the Thackeray camp’s application for another plot on the same ground, saying it has already been reserved for an event.

Though it has raised hopes for the Thackeray faction that they will get permission to hold the traditional rally at Shivtirth, the Shinde camp’s spokesperson and former MLC Kiran Pawaskar pre-empting any allocation for the Thackeray faction told The Hindu that they will continue to vie for permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park, and the MMRDA ground will be used for vehicle parking.

“As thousands of Shiv Sainiks from across Maharashtra will attend the Dasara rally to be addressed by ‘real’ Shiv Sainik and Chief Minister Shinde, we need a place for vehicle parking. Shivaji Park doesn’t have a parking place, so BKC grounds will be used for the purpose,” he said, adding that they are confident of getting a positive response from the BMC.

“Though MMRDA ground is allotted to us for October 5, our first and only preference is Shivaji park. Our leader CM Shinde will address the real Shiv Sainiks from the traditional venue at any cost,” another elected public representative from the Shinde came said.

On Saturday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray assured his party functionaries they would hold the rally at the usual spot and asked them to prepare themselves for the event. However, the BMC is yet to decide on its permission and has sought legal opinion. The civic body is likely to reach a conclusion this week. The Dasara rally at the Shivaji Park is an annual gathering of the Shiv Sena since its inception.

Shiv Sena MP from South Mumbai Arvind Sawant said the BMC should use the first-come-first-served formula for granting permission for the Thackeray faction. “If MMRDA has used the first-come-first-serve formula in granting permission to the other group, then we are entitled to get Shivaji park as we have applied first,” he said.

“They must stop the filthy politics. From its formation till last year, the Shiv Sena held the Dasara at Shivtirth,” he said. Sources said Thackeray’s Shiv Sena will explore the legal options and approach courts in case permission is denied. It is expected that party functionaries from across the State would converge as a ‘show of strength’ for both factions and there are speculations of more leaders shifting to the Shinde camp from Thackeray’s faction.