For the first time, Shiv Sena to hold closed-door Dussehra rally

Mumbai: For a change due to the present coronavirus pandemic, the Shiv Sena for the first time will hold the customary Dussehra rally in the closed-door auditorium and not at the sprawling Shivaji Park, Dadar. The saffron party has organised the rally on October 25 at the Savarkar Sabhagruh situated just opposite Shivaji Park in the presence of 50 activists because of curbs on gathering.

Thackeray and his family members will first pay their respects at the memorial of late party founder Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park.

The rally will start at 7 pm on October 25 which will be addressed by party president Uddhav Thackeray who will deliver his maiden speech as the chief minister. He will complete a year in office on November 27.

Shiv Sena wanted to celebrate Thackeray’s elevation as the state CM at the grand scale but was forced to keep it a low key celebration following Covid 19 crisis. However, the party has displayed hoardings, banners and the customary 'pataka’ on the roads adjacent to Sunday’s venue. The Dussehra rally is an important event in the calendar of Shiv Sena, which was launched in 1966.

Thackeray is likely to speak on Shiv Sena’s political journey and its transformation over the years.

He is expected to review the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s performance especially with regard to war against virus, his party’s bonhomie with new allies NCP and Congress and also on Sena’s way forward. Thackeray, who avoided to retort BJP allegations on Friday after he announced the Rs 10,000 crore package for flood-hit area, had already said he as the Sena president would take on the former ally at the Sunday’s rally. He will also recall the malicious campaign run against him and his family by the opposition and few channels in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

Further, Thackeray will refer to war of word with the Governor BS Koshyari who in his letter full of sarcasm and satire on the issue of reopening of temples asked whether the CM has suddenly turned “secular” and whether he is receiving “divine premonition” to keep postponing reopening of places of worships. Thackeray had retorted Koshyari saying that he does not need Governor’s certificate of Hindutva.

He will touch upon Shiv Sena and the state government’s stand on farm and labour laws and question BJP led government’s reluctance to clear GST dues worth Rs 38,000 crore.

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai, who is Thackeray’s close confidante, along with senior minister Subhash Desai, party MP Sanjay Raut and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray has been currently engaged in the organisation of Sunday’s rally and coordinating with the local police. Desai told Free Press Journal, ‘’As per the Covid 19 norms issued by the state government, only 50 party leader and Shiv Saniks including ministers who are in the city will attend the rally to avoid crowding. The social distancing, face masks and use of sanitizer will be mandatory for those who will remain present,’’ he noted.

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