Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray asks Sainiks to come in large numbers for Dussehra rally but show restraint to avoid any blot on party

With an eye on BMC elections, the Dussehra rally is quite important for the Thackeray faction as Uddhav, who on Wednesday at the booth coordinators meeting dared BJP and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to hold BMC and assembly elections together, is expected to further step up attack against the erstwhile ally BJP and Shinde camp.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Friday, September 23, 2022, 10:56 PM IST
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Mumbai: Uddhav Thackeray asks Sainiks to come in large numbers for Dussehra rally but show restraint to avoid any blot on party | File Photo

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which is currently engaged in a legal battle after the rebellion by Eknath Shinde and 39 others, on Friday received a major boost after the Bombay high court allowed its customary Dussehra rally to be held at Shivaji Park on October 5. A visibly relaxed Uddhav hailed the court ruling saying that it has tremendous faith in the judiciary. However, he exhorted the Shiv Sainiks to gear up preparations to make the rally a success by mobilising in large numbers.

However, he urged them to show restraint during their celebrations in a bid to keep the party’s tradition untainted. With an eye on BMC elections, the Dussehra rally is quite important for the Thackeray faction as Uddhav, who on Wednesday at the booth coordinators meeting dared BJP and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to hold BMC and assembly elections together, is expected to further step up attack against the erstwhile ally BJP and Shinde camp. Uddhav is also expected to spell out the party's revival strategy with a resolve to take on the BJP and Shinde camp.

‘’I request you all to come to the Dussehra rally with enthusiasm, come with discipline, and do not indulge in anything that will put a blot on the celebrations and on the party. Don’t know what others will do. The world is paying attention to the rally,’’ said Uddhav in his first reaction. 

However, he further said he is no longer a Chief Minister now. ‘’It is the responsibility of the  state government to maintain law and order. I believe that the state government will fulfil its responsibility. Like today's verdict, I believe that we will get justice from the verdict of the Supreme Court in the next few days as it will also decide the future of democracy in the country,’’ he said.

On its part the Shinde camp legislator and the chief whip in the state assembly Bharat Gogawale said that it respects the high court order.  ‘’We accept the decision of the High Court. We will hold our Dussehra rally at BKC ground while they (Thackeray faction) will hold their rally,’’ he noted. Although Gogawale did not reveal the Shinde camp’s move to file a petition in the Supreme Court challenging today’s high court order, few legislators have indication in this regard. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is the chief leader, will be the main speaker at the Shinde camp’s rally. 

‘’No reason to worry. We have started our preparations. We don't want to debate, we want to present Balasaheb Thackeray's thoughts,’’ said Gogawle, adding that the BKC ground is close to Balasaheb Thackeray's Matoshree residence.

Shiv Sena’s ally NCP also welcomed the high court order. NCP veteran and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said ‘’Shiv Sena supremo  HinduHruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray used to address the rally and later it was continued by Uddhav Thackeray. The court has upheld Uddhav Thackeray led Shiv Sena’s argument. The Shinde camp will hold its rally at BKC. I sincerely hope that both the camps will show restraint.’’

The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Sachin Sawant said, ‘’The high court ruling is a slap in the face for the Shinde Fadnavis government. It would be better for them to learn from the order that governance is not done by hate, hatred and revenge.’’

The Shiv Sena deputy leader Neelam Gorhe said, ‘’We are deeply grateful for the decision given by the court after hearing all sides. Never before had such law and order issues been raised. The party had approached the court in a bid to continue its Raj maidan Raj leader (One ground one leader) stand which was practised relentlessly for 56 years.’’

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