‘More Sena vs Sena clashes likely in run-up to BMC polls’

MUMBAI: With the latest in a series of scuffles and skirmishes between the rival Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and CM Eknath Shinde resulting in the filing of an FIR against Dadar MLA Sada Sarvankar, political observers said more clashes are expected in the run-up to the BMC polls.
The next battlefront, they said, is likely to be the Sena’s Dussehra rally, with both factions claiming they will hold their own rally in the city.
Sarvankar of the Shinde faction faces an FIR for allegedly firing a bullet ‘on the ground’ within the premises of Dadar police station after arguments between the two camps at the time of Ganesh idol immersions.
Also, in an indication that the rivalry could get worse, Sainiks from the Uddhav camp reportedly sprinkled cow urine on the road where CM Eknath Shinde had travelled in Aurangabad. Sainiks claimed they had “cleansed” the road. Here too, Shinde faction workers and the Uddhav camp’s activists clashed and raised slogans against each other.

Shindecamp

While tensions had been simmering between the two factions even during the dahi handi festival last month, they came to the fore on the final day of the Ganesh festival. Political observers said more clashes would come as an embarrassment to the Shinde faction as it is now in power and the state home department, which is responsible for maintaining law and order, is led by deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. While Sena’s Dussehra rally is slated for October 5, the BMC elections are likely to be held late in November or early in December.
With police allegedly not booking Sarvankar till Sunday evening, Sena MP Arvind Sawant of the Thackeray team had warned they would be “forced to show them the real Shiv Sena.” The Thackeray camp workers arrested on Sunday and later released on bail met Uddhav, who praised them but told the Sainiks to be patient and exercise restraint. Sarvankar on his part denied he had fired shots and rebel Sena MLA Bharat Gogawale, the Shinde faction’s chief whip, said such situations should be avoided during festive times. “We were not there so we don’t know what happened. But this kind of thing must not happen in Hindu festivals, and he has expressed regret. If there is an FIR, there will be an investigation,” Gogawale said. Fadnavis said there will be an impartial investigation.

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