Mumbai: With the Mumbai civic body yet to take a call on the applications filed by rebel Shiv Sena camps to hold the annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, BJP leader and minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday said the pleas may be rejected and the applicants asked to hold their respective events at some other public places.
The Dussehra rally is the major event in the annual calendar of Shiv Sena since the days of the late Bal Thackeray.
The situation changed after Eknath Shinde rebelled with 40 MLAs against Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and staked claim to the party and the poll symbol.
The factions led by Chief Minister Shinde and Thackeray had applied separately to the Mumbai civic body seeking permission to organise the Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park.
“The administration may reject applications of both the sides and ask them to hold their respective rallies at some other public places,” Mungantiwar told reporters but didn't elaborate.
The BMC was ruled by the Shiv Sena for over two-andhalf decades. Currently, its affairs are managed by a state administrator as the term of the civic body has ended and the election schedule has not yet been announced.
Mungantiwar, who holds the Forest portfolio in the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government, also said the poll symbol of Shiv Sena bow and arrow belongs to the Shinde camp.
“Eknath Shinde had demanded to freeze the Sena's election symbol in the Supreme Court. I think that a party symbol belongs to its members and it's not the property of an individual. If Shinde enjoys the support of 40 MLAs of original Shiv Sena he has the right to claim the poll symbol,” he said.
Mungantiwar said a poll symbol is not a property that outsiders cannot stake claim to.
Earlier in the day, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had said that it will hear on September 27, an application of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction seeking to restrain the Election Commission from deciding on the claim of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led group over the “original” Shiv Sena party.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Nagpur on Wednesday morning, senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis dismissed the allegations that the Mumbai civic body was blocking all the grounds for the Dussehra rally.
“The state government has not blocked any grounds. Permissions will be given as per norms,” he said.