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Monday, September 20, 2021

Explained: A history of Shiv Sena Bhavan, and the recent Sena-BJP clash over the building

A war of words has broken out between the BJP and the Shiv Sena after BJP legislator Prasad Lad threatened to demolish Sena Bhavan, the headquarters of the Shiv Sena.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: August 3, 2021 10:49:45 am
The three-storey Sena Bhavan was constructed in Dadar in the early 1970s. (Express Photo: Prashant Nadkar)

The Sena Bhavan is located near the Shivaji Park in Dadar where the party was formed in 1966. The three-storey Sena Bhavan was constructed in Dadar in the early 1970s. Apart from housing the party headquarters, the Bhavan had also offices of Sena affiliated organisations. However, the party headquarters was damaged after a bomb blast at a petrol pump near the Bhavan in 1993. Sources in the Sena said that despite carrying out the repeated repairs, the Sena Bhavan had weakened which led to its reconstruction.

While the party made the plans to reconstruct the Sena Bhavan in 2004, the newly refurbished Sena Bhavan was inaugurated by the Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray on July 27, 2006, which was also the 46th Birthday of Uddhav Thackeray, Balasaheb Thackeray’s son.

The refurbished Sena Bhavan, the five-storeyed building, is a replica of the old Sena Bhavan with some modifications. It also has a corporate look with huge basements, elevators, parking and a big conference hall apart from separate chambers for the party chief and other senior leaders. Besides, it has also installed the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Maratha warrior king and Shiv Sena deity, in the Sena Bhavan.

Controversies about Shiv Sena Bhavan

Perhaps, the first attack on the Sena Bhavan was made during the late 1970s by the Janata Party activists. In 1993, after the Sena activists attacked the journalist Nikhil Wagle, a protest was held outside the Sena Bhavan by the journalists and the like-minded people protesting against the attack on Wagle.

Besides, in 2016, Pakistani-Americal terrorist David Coleman Headley had told a Mumbai court that the late Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and the party’s headquarters at Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar was on Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT’s) targets.

Recent Sena-BJP clash around Sena Bhavan

A day after the BJP legislator Prasad Lad claimed about demolishing the Sena Bhavan, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that no one should dare to threaten the Sena. “You will not be able to stand on your own feet if Sena gives you one tight slap,” said Uddhav at an event.

His remarks come two days after Lad, a close confidant of BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, while addressing party workers Saturday at its office in Mahim, a stronghold of the Sena, had said, “Whenever I come here a huge police force is deployed. The Shiv Sena fears we will demolish their Sena Bhavan. Well, if the time comes we can do that too…” However, Fadnavis, on Sunday, said that there is absolutely no room for destructive politics in the BJP and the party does not subscribe to such ideas.

In June, the Sena workers had attacked the BJP workers who came to protest outside the Sena Bhavan to condemn the Sena’s statement of seeking an inquiry into the allegations of a scam in the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya. A scuffle broke out after Sena claimed that the BJP workers came with stones and sticks.

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