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High Court Takes BMC To Task, Allows Uddhav Faction To Hold Dussehra Rally At Shivaji Park

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s faction has lost a spirited battle against Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena as the High Court in Mumbai has permitted the latter to hold its traditional Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park, Dadar. The issue has sentimental overtones as Sena founder Bal Thackeray used to address huge rallies for decades. This is the second time the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been taken to task by the High Court in two days. The issue about getting the BMC permission was hanging fire for several weeks as the faction loyal to Eknath Shinde, too, had staked its claim for the venue soon after the Uddhav faction had filed its applications. Considering the potential breach of peace, the police and finally the BMC decided on Thursday (Sep 22) to reject both the applications. However, even before the BMC had taken any stand, both sides had moved the HC to claim the venue. Terming the BMC’s decision as improper, the court permitted the Uddhav faction to hold the rally but laid down certain conditions like maintaining peace on the occasion. The court said the BMC had misused its powers. Only a day before, the HC had issued stern directions to the BMC to demolish illegal construction in Union minister Narayan Rane’s Juhu beach bungalow. It had castigated the civic body for shifting its earlier stand of not tolerating the irregularity.