After four days of dilly-dallying, election officials on Sunday gave permission to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to hold a rally at Shahid Bhagat Singh ground in Kalachowki area in South Mumbai on April 23.
MNS leaders said they initially had planned to hold a rally on April 24. “Since the election officials and civic officials were passing the buck, we raised the issue with the office of Chief Electoral Office today (Sunday) and have got permission for the rally on April 23,” said Sanjay Naik, an MNS leader. Click here for more election news
MNS leaders said they had initially approached the single window system cell, set up to give all permissions related to the Lok Sabha elections, but “they refused to take our application”, asking us go to to civic officials. “The civic officials referred it to single window system cell, which denied permission claiming that since MNS was not contesting polls, the permission could not be given and stated the civic officials are expected to decide on it,” Naik said.
Meanwhile, he added, that the MNS had submitted another application seeking permission to hold rally on April 23 or 25. “After hearing our plan of holding a rally at Kalachowki on April 24, Sena leaders booked all grounds in Sewri Assembly constituency for that day. So, we gave another application seeking permission for a rally on April 23 or 25 and got permission to hold the rally on April 23,” he added.
Officials from the Chief Electoral Officer said the officials from the single window system might have messed up the matter. “In a democracy, we can not deny permission to anyone for a rally even if the party is not contesting the polls,” said an official.
Another MNS leader said the party chief is likely to address rallies on April 24 in Bhandup, April 25 in Panvel and April 26 in Nashik. “The process of seeking permissions at the respective places is on and we are hopeful of getting permissions at all places,” said the leader.