Annual Shiv Sena rally in Dussehra snowballs into major political issue

The Shiv Sena’s annual Dussehra gathering is quickly snowballing into a major political issue in Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray and the rebel faction, led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, are engaged in a direct confrontation for the premises even as senior Maharashtra politicians have appealed to the warring factions to settle the dispute. friendly question.

The two sites in question are the Shivaji Historical Park in Dadar and the Bandra-Kurla Complex land in Bandra.

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While permissions for Shivaji Park are granted by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the same for BKC Ground must be obtained from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

While both factions initially requested Shivaji Park as Plan-B, both sides filed permission requests for BKC Ground. However, any rapprochement on the issue of location is far from in sight.

It can be mentioned that Shinde also holds the portfolio of the Department of Urban Development, which may have a major role to play.

It was Anil Desai, MP for Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha, a close associate of the Thackeray family, who originally nominated Shivaji Park. However, a few days later, rebel Shiv Sena MP Sada Sarvankar also filed a candidacy.

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Incidentally, Sarvankar, an MP from Dadar, had requested permission for the rally from the BMC. After the delay, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray raised the issue.
However, as Plan-B, Shiv Sena Mumbai South MP Arvind Sawant who is the President of Bharatiya Kamgar Sena filed a candidacy and Shinde camp also followed suit.

“The dispute escalated with both factions applying for the two sites. It would be very difficult for the Maharashtra government, BMC and MMRDA to sort out the matter,” a senior political observer said, adding that things could escalate until the last minute.

The administration of BMC and MMRDA had sought a legal opinion on the matter.

Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray, an incendiary leader and orator par excellence, started the tradition of addressing the annual Dussehra gatherings at Shivaji Park in 1966, months after the party was founded on June 19, 1966.

Balasaheb addressed the first Dussehra gathering in 1966 and since then it has been an unbroken tradition — with the exception of two occasions — in 2006 when it was not possible due to heavy rains and in 2009 because of the Vidhan Sabha polls.

A day after Balasaheb’s death on November 17, 2012, his last rites were performed at Shivaji Park.

The Shiv Sena Bhavan, the seat of the Shiv Sena, is also located near Shivaji Park.

In 2020 and 2021, due to the lockdown and restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rally was held virtually or indoors, but now Thackeray has asked the party to prepare for the Dussehra rally.

In 2020, Uddhav addressed the gathering virtually, while in 2021 it was held at King’s Circle’s Shanmukhananda Hall.

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