Shiv Sena seeks HC orders to BMC for Dassehra rally permission

by IANS |

Mumbai, Sep 21 (IANS) The Shiv Sena has filed a plea in the Bombay High Court seeking directions to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to give permission to the party to hold its annual Dassehra rally at Shivaji Park, here on Wednesday.

The plea, filed through Sena lawyer Joel Carlos, was mentioned before a division bench of Justice R.D. Dhanuka and Justice Kamal Khata who have listed it for urgent hearing on Thursday.

In the plea, the Shiv Sena said it has been holding its traditional annual Dassehra rally at the historic Shivaji Park since 1966, barring 2020 and 2021 when it was not held owing to the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

As per procedure, the party applied for permission to the BMC on August 26 to hold the Dassehra rally on October 5 this year.

However, the permission has not been granted for nearly a month now, compelling the party to move the high court for suitable directions to the BMC.

The Sena -- which has also made the BMC G-Ward Assistant Municipal Commissioner and other officials as respondents -- contended that party activists and leaders from all over Maharashtra and other parts of India reach Shivaji Park without any invite or announcement.

The party said that it has always complied with various legal provisions without creating any law-and-order issues, nor has ever flouted any laws or BMC conditions at the Dassehra rally as it is always organised in a disciplined manner.

Against this backdrop, the Sena urged the high court to immediately direct the BMC to grant permission to hold its annual rally there on Dassehra day (October 5) from 5-10 p.m. within three days.

This year, an unprecedented situation has arisen with the split in the Shiv Sena party in June, with one faction led by Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and another rebel group headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, which toppled the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government on June 29.

Both are claiming to be the 'real Shiv Sena' with their matter pending before the Supreme Court, and are eyeing the Shivaji Park for a similar rally on the same date and timings.

MVA ally Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has said that the "Dassehra rally at Shivaji Park is synonymous with the Shiv Sena", while Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar and Congress leaders have also supported the Thackeray-led Sena's claim on the venue.

Adopting an aggressive stance, Sena leader Milind Vaidya has said that the BMC and government must either give permission or decline it, and even if refused, the party will hold its calendar event at Shivaji Park as it has been doing for the past 55 years.

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