The Shiv Sena led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Ekanth Shinde has decided to withdraw its application submitted to the Mumbai civic body seeking permission to hold a rally on Dussehra at the iconic Shivaji Park ground in Mumbai, a party MLA said on Tuesday afternoon.
Shiv Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), said the ruling party is withdrawing the application on Shinde's directive and termed it as a conciliatory move aimed at ensuring the Hindu festival is celebrated with enthusiasm.
The ruling party and the opposition Shiv Sena (UBT) led by former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had submitted separate applications to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seeking nod to hold their Dussehra rally at the sprawling ground in Dadar, a civic official said.
The BMC received an application on October 1 from Sarvankar and another one from the Shiv Sena (UBT) central office on October 7 for permission to organise their respective rally at the site, the official told PTI.
On Tuesday, Sarvankar announced the decision to withdraw the application and said his party's rally will be held somewhere else.
"This year too Shiv Sena's Dussehra festival should be celebrated with enthusiasm. To avoid differences among each other during Hindu festivals, Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Honourable Eknath Shinde Saheb took a conciliatory stance by announcing that the Dussehra rally will be held elsewhere," the MLA from Mahim wrote on X.
Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray had started the tradition of holding his party's Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park.
This year Dussehra will be celebrated on October 24.
Last year also, the rival Sena camps led by Shinde and Thackeray had filed applications seeking permission to hold the annual Dussehra rally at the ground.
The civic body had denied permission to both the factions citing law and order concerns.
Thereafter, the Bombay high court in September 2022 granted permission to the Thackeray-led Sena faction to hold its Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park.
The Shinde camp last year held its rally at the MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla Complex, a business district in suburban Mumbai. It was the party's first Dussehra rally after Shinde and MLAs supporting him revolted against Thackeray's leadership and formed a government with support from the BJP in June 2022.
When Bal Thackeray died in 2012, he was cremated at the Shivaji Park. Sena workers call the ground 'Shiva-tirtha,' or a holy place, that now houses the late leader's memorial.