HomePoliticsNCP supports Uddhav Thackeray bid over staging annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji...

NCP supports Uddhav Thackeray bid over staging annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, Dadar

Only the Thackerays’ have the right to hold the rally at Mumbai’s historic Shivaji Park, says NCP State President Jayant Patil


Mumbai: Amid the raging tussle between the rival Shiv Sena factions over who would hold the party’s annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park, the opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), backing the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction, said that only a Dussehra rally presided by the Thackeray family could be said to be a ‘legitimate’ one.

Castigating Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s rival Sena faction, state NCP president Jayant Patil on Sunday said that as the annual Dussehra rally was a tradition begun by late Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, the ‘real’ Dussehra gathering in Dadar’s Shivaji Park could only be the one that was held by the Thackeray family.

The state NCP president further remarked, “Balasaheb Thackeray started this tradition which has been carried on for the past several years by (Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray. So, only the Thackeray family has a right to hold it… This year’s rally will give a new direction to the Shiv Sainiks.”

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition government of the Sena, NCP and the Congress, led by Uddhav Thackeray was toppled over by Eknath Shinde’s intra-party rebellion plunged the Sena into turmoil.

Since then, the two factions have been locked in a bitter legal struggle for control of the party, right from the iconic Shiv Sena bow and arrow symbol to the question of staging the Dussehra rally to be held in October.

The rally has been inextricably linked with the Thackeray family, traditionally serving as a platform for some important announcements made on part of the Sena chief.

Noted for late Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray’s fiery speeches in the past, his son Uddhav has been the ‘custodian’ of this tradition since the Sena founder’s death in 2012.

However, after Eknath Shinde’s intra-party revolt which has dramatically altered political equations, the rebel faction – which includes 40 of the 55 Sena MLAs and 12 of the 19 Sena Lok Sabha MPs – has been arguing that the Thackeray camp has lost its right to hold the Dussehra rally as it had ‘abandoned’ Hindutva ideals.

Lashing out at Eknath Shinde and the rebel Sena MLAs, Uddhav Thackeray has asserted that he would hold the Dussehra rally come what may.

Meanwhile, former Sena Minister Ramdas Kadam, a member of the Shinde camp, said that Uddhav Thackeray had “no right to take Balasaheb Thackeray’s name at Shivaji Park” given his alliance with the NCP. “Ajit Pawar (senior NCP leader) would have finished-off the Sena had Eknath Shinde not taken steps at the right time to come out of the MVA and ally with the BJP,” remarked Kadam.


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