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) says that if permission is given to any one camp, there might be “a law and order situation” at the venue.
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 later today.
Unseated as Chief Minister in a coup about 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 Eknath 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”.
This is the first Dussehra since the split in June, 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 said.