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Thackeray-led Shiv Sena moves HC to seek nod for Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park

BMC yet to take a decision on their applications

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray | PTI Uddhav Thackeray | PTI

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Wednesday moved the Bombay High Court seeking permission to hold its annual Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park in central Mumbai on October 5.

The petition, seeking urgent hearing, was mentioned before a division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Kamal Khata.

The bench posted it for hearing on Thursday. The petition was filed by the Shiv Sena and its secretary Anil Desai through advocate Joel Carlos.

The plea said the party was constrained to approach the HC as the Mumbai civic body was yet to take a decision on their applications submitted in August seeking permission for the rally.

The petition sought directions to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to forthwith grant permission for the Sena's Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park. The party further said a decision ought to be taken by the civic body soon as necessary arrangements would have to be made on the ground prior to the rally.

The Sena in its plea also said the party was holding the Dussehra rally every year at the Shivaji Park since 1966 and the civic body had always permitted it.

Only in 2020 and 2021, the rally could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it said. The petition said in 2016, the state government had designated Shivaji Park as a recreational ground to be used only for sports activities.

At that time, the government had earmarked a few days in the year for non-sports activities and the Dussehra rally was also included in those days, it said.

The Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which comprised the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, collapsed in June this year after a revolt led by Eknath Shinde against the Sena leadership.

Shinde was later sworn in as the chief minister with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy. Both the Thackeray-led Sena and the rival group led by Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde had sought permission to hold their Dusshera rallies at the Shivaji Park.

The BMC has not taken any decision on the issue so far.

Both the factions, as an alternative, had also applied for permission to hold the rally at the MMRDA ground at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. Last week, the Shinde faction got the nod for holding a rally at the BKC. 

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