Shiv Sena calls off Dussehra rally | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Shiv Sena calls off Dussehra rally

mumbai Updated: Sep 25, 2009 01:06 IST
Rajendra Aklekar

The park is booked, but there will be no Shiv Sena rally this Dussehra.

The party has announced that it will instead hold a combined Sena-BJP rally at Shivaji Park on October 10.

“This time, we will have a joint rally on the last day of campaigning,” said Sena spokesperson Subhash Desai. “We have already booked Shivaji Park.”

The rally — a Sena tradition since the party was founded 43 years ago — seems to have been cancelled at the last minute.

On Wednesday, when party executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s campaign schedule was finalised, the rally was still listed for 6 pm on Monday.

Thackeray had even cleared his schedule for the day and arranged for a chartered flight to rush him back to the city from Nagpur, where he was planning to campaign till Sunday.

While the party declined to comment on the change of plan, sources said there had been some concern over possible disruptions at the event. A number of Sainiks have turned against the party, upset by this time’s selection of candidates.

The last time the Sena called off the Dussehra rally, the biggest party event of the year, was in 2006, due to heavy rains.

Last year was the first time Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s son and political heir Uddhav addressed the crowd, while the former spoke only a few halting words himself.