Navratri celebration in Maharashtra is grandeur this year, after the two-year restrictions. Every year, Shivaji park witnesses a humongous crowd of Shiv Sainiks attending the annual Dussehra rally. Though this year the picture is likely to be different with rebels and there being two factions within the party.
Both factions have now planned for the rallies on the day of Dussehra. The Thackeray-led faction at Shivaji Park while the Shinde-led faction will hold their rally at the BKC ground. This comes after the Bombay High Court rejected the latter’s application seeking permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park.
In this power tussle, both the factions are trying hard to make their rallies a hit, and pull crowds. According to reports, the Shinde-faction MLAs have started making travel arrangements.
The rebel MLA Abdul Sattar has booked about 300 state transport buses and is expected to bring around 3,000 crowds from his constituency.
Mumbai is likely to witness a crowd of around 5 lakhs coming from across the state attending both rallies. This will immensely pressure the police force to maintain law and order.
Around 10,000 buses are expected to arrive in Mumbai during the rallies, and around 3,000 people to come by train. This will affect traffic in the city of Mumbai and the neighbouring cities.
Sudhir Mungantiwar, State Cabinet Minister told Afternoon Voice, “We have done rallies in Mumbai earlier too, and we will make sure all arrangements are in place, and no inconvenience is caused to the common Mumbaikar.”
Anil Kokil, ex-corporator from the Shiv Sena party said, “We don’t require any special preparation for the Dussehra rally as we are always prepared for it every year but it is the Shinde government who needs preparation and will be calling people by paying them some amount.”
“We will be sending about 200 buses for our members so that they join the Dussehra rally without any hustle and we are also working on the plan in case there are any issues due to traffic congestion”, stated Rajesh Shirsagar from the Thackeray faction.
“We are all prepared for the rally as we have been doing it for the last 56 years,” said Hemangi Worlikar, Shiv Sena corporator.
“The traffic management and law-and-order has nothing to do with us, that has to be looked at by the state government and traffic police,” she further said when asked about traffic management.
Rajwardhan Sindha, Joint CP of traffic told us, “We are already working on the management of the traffic to ensure smooth movement of vehicles and also there we are designating parking areas to the people coming from all over Maharashtra for the Dussehra rally.”
With all this, the sufferers would be common Mumbaikars, as the public transport and traffic conditions would be affected.