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Dussehra rally: After Shinde group gets BKC, Uddhav faction says easy for it to get nod for Mumbai’s Shivaji Park


The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Monday said it will be easier for them to get permission for the Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s camp got the nod for a rally in the BKC Complex on the “first-come-first-served” principle.

Shiv Sena MP and spokesperson Arvind Sawant, a Thackeray loyalist, told PTI that the ‘first-come-first-served’ principle was applied while granting permission to the Shinde group to organise a rally in the MMRDA ground in the Bandra Kurla Complex, which is stone’s throw away from Thackeray’s private residence ‘Matoshree’.

Talking to reporters later, Sawant also asserted that there can be no other option for the Thackeray faction than holding the annual rally at ‘Shivtirth, the term Shiv Sena uses for the Shivaji Park.

When asked about the party’s strategy in the event it denied permission for Shivaji Park, Sawant said Sena will see what can be done after that.

He said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to deny them permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park.

Both the factions of Shiv Sena had staked a claim to hold their rallies at the iconic Shivaji Park, which is synonymous with the Shiv Sena. Both sides had alternately applied for permission to hold their rallies in the MMRDA ground in BKC on Dussehra next month.

The Shinde faction has received a nod to hold a rally at the BKC. But, no decision has been taken by the BMC regarding the Shivaji Park ground.

“Now, it will be easier for us (to get a nod for Shivaji Park). They (the Shinde group) got permission on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis. So, the same principle applies to us as well for Shivaji Park, Sawant added.

Attacking the BJP, Sawant also alleged that the game plan of the party is to pit two factions of the Shiv Sena against each other.

The Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park is a key event in Shiv Sena’s annual calendar. The gathering of Shivsainiks has been held annually since the inception of Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena chiefs – earlier Bal Thackeray and then his son Uddhav Thackeray – mostly spelt out the agenda and targeted rivals during the Dussehra rallies.

This year’s rally assumes significance as both Uddhav Thackeray and CM Shinde claim their respective factions to be the original Shiv Sena.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar backed the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction and said his group is the real Shiv Sena to hold the annual congregation at the Shivaji Park.

“I have been seeing this for 30-40 years. When one says Shivaji Park, then it is the Shiv Sena, the one led by Balasaheb Thackeray. And that Shiv Sena is Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena. So, their demand for the Dussehra rally is not wrong,” Pawar told reporters.

“(CM) Shinde also has the right to hold a Dussehra rally. They (the Shinde faction) had sought the BKC ground and got it. Once their problem is resolved, then there is no issue of opposing others. I am not saying they have not done it, but it is important to grant permission, he said.

The NCP and the Shiv Sena were alliance partners in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray.


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