Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Sunday said his faction of the Shiv Sena would have got the Shivaji Park ground in central Mumbai as the venue for its Dussehra rally had he intervened in the matter as CM. In a shot in the arm for the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction, the Bombay High Court on September 23 granted it permission to hold its annual Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park ground in Dadar.
The Shinde-led faction had also sought permission to hold the rally at the same venue on the same day (October 5), and opposed the Thackeray group’s petition in the high court.
When asked about it, Shinde told reporters that the leaders and workers of his party had demanded Shivaji Park for the rally, but how they honour the high court’s order.
“Had I intervened as chief minister, we would have got Shivaji Park for the rally. But as CM, it is my duty to ensure peace and harmony. So we settled for the MMRDA ground at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC),” he said.
For the Thackeray faction the high court’s decision in its favour has a symbolic value as Shivaji Park is associated with the Sena since its birth, and his group is locked in a tussle with the rebel group led by CM Shinde to establish itself as the “real’ Shiv Sena.