After “No” To Both Sena Camps For Dussehra Rally At Shivaji Park, Court Hearing Tomorrow

Uddhav Thackeray was unseated as Chief Minister by Eknath Shinde, who got majority of Sena MLAs with him.


Both feuding factions camps of the Shiv Sena have been denied permission to hold the party’s annual Dussehra Rally at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), currently run by an administrator, says there might be “a law and order situation” at the venue if permission is given to any one camp.

While the rebel group led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde hasn’t yet reacted, the camp led by Uddhav Thackeray, who technically remains Shiv Sena chief, has gone to the High Court for permission to hold the October 5 rally at Shivaji Park. The hearing is expected tomorrow.

Unseated as Chief Minister in a coup four months ago, Uddhav Thackeray has been asserting that the rally will “certainly” be held at the venue that’s synonymous with fiery speeches of his late father, party founder Bal Thackeray.

But Mr Shinde’s faction, which is recognised as the Shiv Sena inside the assembly, wanted the same venue as it also claims Bal Thackeray’s “original” legacy of “Hindutva and Marathi pride”.

The BMC, which appears to have skirted a row, was controlled by the Shiv Sena from 1997 to March this year, when the tenure of corporators ended and polls could not take place. And then the Sena split in June. The civic body is currently governed by an officer as administrator.

Eknath Shinde’s camp does have a backup plan — it has permission for a ground in Bandra Kurla Complex — but Team Thackeray is all-in on Shivaji Park.

This is the first Dussehra since the split, when the Shinde faction partnered with the BJP to form a new government, replacing Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena-Congress-NCP setup. Mr Shinde said this was only a resumption of the partnership with “natural ally” BJP. Mr Thackeray had junked ideological differences while dumping the BJP despite winning the last elections together, the Shinde faction has underlined.

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