Eknath Shinde Sena faction gets nod to hold Dussehra rally at BKC Ground

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction has received permission from the MMRDA to hold its Dussehra rally at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) Ground in Mumbai, officials said Monday.

MMRDA chief S V R Srinivas confirmed the development Monday and said they have granted permission to CM Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction for the Dussehra rally on October 5 at BKC Ground.

However, the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena is likely to treat the BKC Ground for the Dussehra rally as a backup venue, and continue to vie for permission to hold it at Shivaji Park. A member from the Shinde Sena faction, who did not wish to be named, said, “Our first priority will be to get permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park”.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority last week also rejected the application made by Uddhav Thackeray to hold the Dussehra rally at another nearby ground, saying it has been booked for another event already. Both factions had applied to hold the rally at different plots at the BKC Ground.

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The Shiv Sena camp led by Uddhav Thackeray is yet to receive permission to hold the Dussehra rally at any spot. Both factions had applied to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for permission and were vying for the venue for their rally. However, the BMC is yet to decide on its permission.

Last week, the BMC referred the case to its legal department for clarity, and has also sought information from the G/North ward, with jurisdiction over Shivaji Park, on how permissions for previous Dussehra rallies were given. The BMC is likely to reach a conclusion this week, a senior civic official told The Indian Express Sunday evening.

The Shiv Sena has been holding the Dussehra rally at the park or Shiv Tirth, as the party calls it, for years now. It is one of the most important events for the Sena as a political party since its foundation was laid in 1966. In 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, the rally was organised virtually and it was held at the Shanmukhananda hall in Kings Circle in 2021.