The `bow and arrow’ symbol and party founder late Bal Thackeray’s voice feature in the Dussehra rally teasers issued by both the factions of the Shiv Sena. While Uddhav Thackeray will address his rally at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will address the rally of his group at MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla Complex in the western suburbs on October 5.
Thackeray will be speaking in his capacity as party chief. Shinde too will address his rally as Shiv Sena chief, said Kiran Pawaskar, a spokesperson of the rebel faction.
On Friday, the Thackeray faction released the teaser of their rally. It featured a snippet of a recording of an old speech by Bal Thackeray where he addresses the crowd as All my Hindu mothers, brothers and sisters who have gathered here.
On Thursday, the Shinde-led faction released a teaser of their rally. In it, Shinde claims it would be the rally of the ‘Shiv Sena’. A 20-second video tweeted by Shinde has Bal Thackeray’s voice-over where the late leader says the saffron flag of Shivaji, Shiv Sena and Hindutva should continue to flutter.
“Shiv Sena’s Dussehra rally — BKC, Bandra, Mumbai," another voice-over said. The video has images of Bal Thackeray, Shinde and Shinde’s mentor Anand Dighe. The Thackeray faction had to approach the Bombay High Court to get a nod for holding the rally at Shivaji Park after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation refused it permission. The posters of the two factions are seen across the city.
Shivaji Park can house 40,000 chairs while the MMRDA ground can accommodate 1,00,000 chairs. So ours will be a bigger rally. We are working on how to manage the logistics as we are expecting people from all over the state, said Sheetal Mhatre, a spokesperson of the rebel group led by Shinde.
Pawaskar added that all MLAs and MPs associated with the Shinde camp will attend the rally which will be “like never before. Sanjay Shirsat, MLA from the Shinde camp, said more than 20,000 party workers from Aurangabad district would be arriving for the rally and 500 buses have been booked for the purpose.
Manisha Kayande, Shiv Sena MLC associated with the Uddhav camp, said party workers have already set out for Mumbai, on foot and by other modes of transport.Buses have been booked to ferry party workers from different parts of Maharashtra, she added.
Citing reports from Bhandara and Gondia districts, Kayande alleged that the Shinde faction was misleading party workers heading for Shivaji Park and coaxing them to go to the BKC in return for a trip to Goa.