Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his rebel camp will soon build their own Sena Bhavan, also in Dadar. Realising that the legal battle with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena over the party symbol would be a long-drawn one, they are eager to have a space of their own, especially with the local and civic body polls scheduled later this year.
On Friday, Shinde camp legislator Sada Sarvankwar announced that their new centre of operations will be called Prati Shiv Sena Bhavan. He also announced their plan to set up shakhas across Mumbai. Sources said this is a part of their plan to completely decimate Uddhav Thackeray and his faction. Political observers, meanwhile, said that the tussle between the two factions is expected to escalate further with this move.
Sarvankwar said, “Prati Shiv Sena Bhavan is required, considering the response the CM is getting across Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. This will be the headquarters from where he will operate.”
He added that the new Bhavan will be activated to address issues faced by the people and also chalk out organisational work. “The new Bhavan will become the much sought after destination for all citizens, especially for Shiv Sainiks,” he said, adding that the appointments of vibhav pramukh and shikha pramukh will be made to further tighten the party’s grip in Mumbai.
Sarvankar also said that their offices will soon be set up in all 227 BMC wards where citizens can go with their grievances. These offices will become operational in the next 15 days.
He clarified that 40 legislators, including Shinde himself, have not left the Shiv Sena as they still continue to be in the party fold. “There is a perception that the Thackeray family rules Mumbai. It is completely wrong. There is a lot of resentment among the Shiv Sainiks,” he noted. He further stated that it was wrong to say that Mumbai is Thackeray’s bastion.
The Original Bhavan
The three-storey Shiv Sena Bhavan, which is located near Shivaji Park in Dadar, where the party was formed in 1966, was built in the early 1970s. Apart from housing the party headquarters, it also had offices of Sena affiliated organisations, but was damaged after a bomb blast at the nearby petrol pump in March 1993.
The Sena Bhavan has seen the Shiv Sena’s graph rise over the last four decades. After the Shiv Sena-BJP came to power for the first time in 1995, both the parties in the presence of architects of alliance, Balasaheb Thackeray and BJP veteran late Pramod Mahajan, met there and announced Manohar Joshi and not Sudhir Joshi as the Chief Minister to lead the alliance.
A new five-storey Sena Bhavan with a corporate look was inaugurated by late Bal Thackeray on July 27, 2006, which was also the 46th birthday of his son Uddhav.
After Shinde and 39 legislators staged a coup and joined hands with the BJP to form the new government, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “Whether it is the Sena Bhavan, Saamana, Matoshree…they should not even think of looking at it.”