With just three days of campaigning left ahead of elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) are now in the middle of spat over a ground in Dadar as the venue for a party rally. The MNS has planned a rally at the Datta Raul Maidan located along the Gokhale Road in Dadar on Saturday, February 18, as the party’s last rally before the polls. It assumes significance as the rally is being seen as an attempt by the MNS to retain its hold in Dadar and Prabhadevi areas, a traditional bastion of the Sena that was snatched by the MNS in the 2012 civic polls.
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However, Sena leaders claim they have already booked the ground for a rally on the same day.
For the last few years, the Sena has been making attempts to regain its hold over the Dadar region.
“Since the Sena is holding a big rally in BKC, they should allow us to use the ground for our rally,” said one MNS leader, adding that the Sena was only trying to prevent the MNS from campaigning out of fear of losing its citadel again.
Sada Sarvankar, local Sena legislator and party’s divisional head of the area, said preparations for the elections were normally done in advance and not at the last moment.
“It is a political strategy for the civic polls. We are going ahead with our rally…,” said Sarvankar.
Recently, the BJP and the Sena were also engaged in a war of words over a rally venue in BKC. Both parties had booked the BKC ground. Eventually, to avoid a clash, the BJP decided to hold its final rally at the Somaiya ground in Vidyavihar.