Mumbai: Shiv Sena to organise annual Dussehra rally, makes official request to police

The annual Dussehra rally has been a Shiv Sena tradition ever since the party’s inception.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 09:43 PM IST
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Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray | File

After the Dahi Handi fiasco where the BJP managed to upstage Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena at the iconic Jamboree Maidan, not wanting to take chances with the annual Dussehra rally, traditionally addressed by the Shiv Sena chief, the party has made a formal request to the Mumbai Police for permission.

Shiv Sena leaders want to ensure that the rebel faction led by CM Eknath Shinde does not hijack the annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, started by the late Bal Thackeray in 1966 after the launch of the Shiv Sena. The annual Dussehra rally has been a Shiv Sena tradition ever since the party’s inception.

While both factions of the Shiv Sena claim to be the "real" Shiv Sena following Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology, the Mumbai Police is gearing up for an ugly confrontation on the home turf for supremacy between the warring Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde sides.

Aditya Thackeray, speaking to the media on Saturday, claimed that the authorities were refusing to accept his party's application to hold the annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, a Shiv Sena tradition for several decades.The large political gathering was synonymous with the fiery speeches of its founder, the late Bal Thackeray.

The Shiv Sena has applied for permission to hold its annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai, but the authorities have rejected our request. "This (Eknath Shinde dispensation) is a repressive government," he said.

"The people of Maharashtra, the country and the world have seen that this (Shinde government) is' khokhe ki sarkar’ (alluding that rebel MLAs took money to switch sides, khokha being slang for crore). People are standing with the Shiv Sena and not these traitors, "further added the Yuva Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, adding

Senior Mumbai Police officials denied receiving any applications from political parties to hold the Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park. "All the permissions are online and the system does not accept any applications more than 30 days before the event. "The question of not accepting any application does not arise," explained the senior police official, requesting not to be named.

The request will have to be approved and sanctioned by the Mumbai Police and BMC to grant permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park.

The overwhelming response to the rally has marked the success of the Shiv Sena and its leadership, where the party’s policies and programmes were spelt out to the followers. After Bal Thackeray’s demise, Uddhav Thackeray took the stage to address the Sainiks.

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