The Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena was today dealt a big blow, with the Bombay High Court granting permission to the Uddhav Thckeray-led Shiv Sena to organise a Dussehra rally at Mumbai’s iconic Shivaji Park. The court rejected the Shinde faction’s request to not decide on the petition until the dispute over claim to the party was settled.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had earlier denied permission to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena as well as Eknath Shinde’s faction for holding Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park on the basis of law and order concerns raised by Mumbai Police. The Thackeray faction challenged the BMC decision, to which the Shinde faction made an intervention plea.
The BMC order was a “clear abuse of the process of law and bonafide,” said the court.
Dadar MLA Sada Sarvankar, part of the Shinde faction, had agued that under the garb of the present petition, the petitioners (Thackeray-led Shiv Sena) were trying to lay claim on the party.
The Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on welcomed the decision, saying its faith in the judiciary stood vindicated. Party spokesperson Manisha Kayande said this year’s rally will be grand.
There must have been some pressure on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which had denied the permission, she claimed.
“Our faith in the judiciary stands vindicated. For the last many years, Dussehra rally has been taking place at ‘Shiv-tirtha’ (as the Sena refers to Shivaji Park), but this time attempt was made through the Shinde faction and BJP to create obstacles. Thankfully, the court rejected it,” said Sena secretary Vinayak Raut.
Shiv Sena has been holding the rally on Dussehra every year since 1966. The event is significant this year as Sena is now split up into two factions and the rally was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Uddhav Thackeray had in August taken a dig at Mr Shinde, saying the party is not sure whether it will get permission for the event. Mr Thackeray went on to say that whatever happens, he will hold a Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park.
“Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally will be held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Shiv Sainiks from all over the state will reach for this rally. We do not know these technical things whether the government will give permission or not. We will hold the rally. It doesn’t matter to us whether others will hold rallies or not. Shiv Sena has grown not by traitors but by the blood of Shiv Sainiks,” Mr Thackeray had said, addressing workers of his party. He is expected to give a big speech on the developments in Maharashtra at the rally, to be held on October 5.
The rebel camp, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Shinde, already has permission for the rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex Ground.