A jubilant Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday termed the Bombay High Court order, allowing his faction of the Shiv Sena to hold its annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar, “a victory for democracy”. He also appealed to the Shiv Sainiks to maintain peace during the rally on October 5.
The Eknath Shinde faction, meanwhile, is contemplating challenging the HC decision in the Supreme Court.
Speaking to mediapersons, Thackeray said, “We have faith in the judiciary and have received justice. Now, since the judiciary has shown trust in us, we all should respect it… I am requesting each and every Shiv Sainik to come to Shivaji Park but maintain discipline. Ensure that the decade-old tradition is not tarnished in anyway. We do not know what others (Shinde faction) will do but it’s our decade-old tradition so we should maintain discipline.”
He added, “The court has also asked the state government to maintain law and order. So, they would also be responsible and I hope that they do it (maintain law and order).”
Meanwhile, the Sinde faction seemed undecided whether it will approach Supreme Court against the HC order.
Sena leader Kiran Pawaskar, a Shinde supporter, said, “All senior leaders and party members held a meeting on Friday evening. We respect the HC decision, but we feel it is unfair that our petition was squashed. We have urged that the party should approach the Supreme Court and challenge the order. It was decided in the meeting that once we get the court order copy, an official announcement will be made by the CM.”
Pawaskar said the Shinde faction was banking on the MMRDA ground in BKC for parking space, and wanted to hold the rally at Shivaji Park. “It is not fair to us, and we will challenge the decision in the Supreme Court,” he claimed.
“All leaders and the legal counsel will meet and decide whether we will to challenge the order in the Supreme Court,” MLA Bharat Gogawale said.
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, meanwhile, said the court order is binding on everybody. Speaking to mediapersons, he said, “ The court has given its verdict. The BMC and the police had presented their side before the court. After taking into consideration everybody’s side, the court has spelt its decision. Accordingly, court order will be followed by one and all.” Asked about the possibility of the rally leading to a law and order problem, Fadnavis said, “ The state government will ensure strict law and order in Maharashtra. Nobody can take the law into their own hands.”
Shinde faction spokesperson Sheetal Mhatre said, “We respect the court’s order and we will hold the rally at MMRDA ground in BKC, for which we have already received permission.”
The NCP, meanwhile, welcomed the HC order. “I am happy that the matter has been resolved. I had said before that since the BKC ground has been given to the Shinde camp, the Shiv Sena should get Shivaji Park. Ultimately, when you get no justice from agencies, you are left with no option but to approach the judiciary. Thackeray did that and got justice,” NCP leader Ajit Pawar said.