Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction was hit hard today when the Bombay High Court allowed Uddhav Thckeray-led Shiv Sena to organize a Dussehra rally in Mumbai’s iconic Shivaji Park. The court rejected Shinde’s request not to make a decision on the petition until the dispute over the parties’ claims has been resolved.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation earlier refused to allow Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and factions of Eknath Shinde to hold a Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park, citing law and order concerns raised by Mumbai police. The Thackeray faction challenged the BMC’s decision, and the Shinde faction made a request for intervention.
The court said BMC’s order was a “clear abuse of legal process and good faith”.
Dadar MLA Sada Sarvankar, a member of the Shinde faction, argues that under the guise of the current petition, the petitioners (Shiv Sena led by Thackeray) are trying to make demands on the party.
Thackeray-led Shivsena welcomed the decision, saying its trust in the judiciary was right. Party spokeswoman Manisha Kayande said this year’s rallies would be huge.
She claimed that there must have been some pressure from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which refused the permit.
“Our faith in the judiciary has been proven. Dussehra rallies have been held at ‘Shiv-tirtha’ for many years (as Sena refers to Shivaji Park), but this attempt is to create obstacles through the Shinde faction and the BJP Thankfully, the court dismissed it,” said Senna secretary Vinaya Kraut.
Shiv Sena has held a rally in Dussehra every year since 1966. This year’s event is significant as Sena is now split into two factions, with rallies not taking place in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Uddhav Thackeray took a dig at Mr Shinde in August, saying the party was unsure whether it would get a licence 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 be participating in this rally. We don’t know if the government will allow these technical issues. We will hold a rally. It’s whether other people hold a rally against us It doesn’t matter. Shiv Sena grew up not by traitors, but by the blood of Shiv Sainiks,” Mr Thackeray told party workers. He is expected to deliver a key speech on developments in Maharashtra at a rally on October 5.
The rebel camp, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Sind, has been given permission to hold a rally at the Bandra Kulla complex.