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Shivaji Park, the venue of Uddhav's swearing-in ceremony, has a long association with the Thackerays

The political folklore in Mumbai is that if a party can fill up the Shivaji Park for its rallies, it can very well present a considerable challenge to its opposition parties.

November 27, 2019 / 06:36 PM IST
Shiv Sena rally at Shivaji Park.

Shiv Sena rally at Shivaji Park.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is all set to become the first from the Thackeray family to sit on the throne of Maharashtra's chief minister.

The Thackerays have had a long association with Shivaji Park, a ground located in Mumbai's Dadar, a ten-minute walk from the Shiv Sena Bhavan, the party headquarters.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the venue chosen for Uddhav's swearing-in ceremony was Shivaji Park. It was here that Bal Thackeray, the founder and supremo of Shiv Sena, had addressed his first public rally back in 1966. Ever since the formation of the party, the Sena has been holding its annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park for the past five decades.

A memorial of the late Bal Thackeray is also constructed at the location and it is also the spot where the Sena supremo's funeral was held in 2012.

A sculpture of Meenatai Thackeray, the wife of Bal Thackeray, has also been put up at one of the park's entrances.

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The park does not hold importance only for the Sena. After quitting Congress in 1999, Sharad Pawar (whose Nationalist Congress Party is now in alliance with the Sena) had addressed a record gathering at the venue.

The political folklore in Mumbai is that if a party can fill up the Shivaji Park for its rallies, it can very well present a considerable challenge to its opposition parties. Which is why, a number of major political developments in the state have all started from the gates of Shivaji Park.

Interestingly, Uddhav's estranged cousin, Raj Thackeray, whose Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) won one Assembly seat this time around, stays right in front of the park.
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