Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena on Monday asserted there was no other option but to hold its annual Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park in Mumbai next month and said it will approach the court if permission to use the iconic venue was denied to them. Talking to reporters, Shiv Sena spokesperson and former Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar accused the Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra of trying to corner the Thackeray faction over its Dussehra rally, one of the most important events in the Shiv Sena’s annual calendar. Pednekar claimed efforts are being made to ensure the Thackeray faction was not able to hold its annual rally on Dussehra, which will be celebrated on October 5.
“If you are trying to corner us by displaying the arrogance of power, by pressuring officials (to deny nod for using the venue), then we will do what (Sena president) Uddhav Ji decides. You will see what happens.
“The party chief (Uddhav Thackeray) will decide (on the future course of action) and if the need arises, we will go to court. We are trying to ensure that there is no law and order problem which is why we are asking for permission. But the attempts are being made to thwart our annual rally,” she alleged.
The rival Sena factions had staked claim to hold their respective rallies at the iconic Shivaji Park in Dadar in central Mumbai, a venue closely associated with the formation and growth of the saffron outfit. Both sides had also alternately applied for permission to use the BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex) for their rallies.
The Sena faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has received a nod to hold its rally at the BKC, a business district in suburban Mumbai. But, no decision has been taken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), currently under the control of a state government-appointed administrator, for allowing the Shivaji Park ground to be used for the high-profile event.
Arvind Sawant, Lok Sabha MP and a spokesperson of the Thackeray faction, said it will be easier for them to get permission for their Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park now that the Shinde camp has got the nod to hold a rally in BKC.
Sawant told news agency PTI that the ‘first-come-first-serve’ principle was applied while giving permission to the Shinde group to hold a rally at the MMRDA ground in BKC, which is a stone’s throw away from ‘Matoshree’, the private residence of former CM Uddhav Thackeray.
“There can be no other option for the Thackeray faction other than ‘Shivtirth (the term the party uses for Shivaji Park) to hold its rally,” Sawant said.
Asked what if the party is denied permission to hold its rally at Shivaji Park, Sawant said his faction will “see what can be done” after that, hinting at taking legal recourse to bag the nod.