Shivaji Park Residents seek to silence Raj Thackeray

Move the Bombay HC against the use of loudspeakers for his Gudi Padwa rally.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray may not be able to shout what’s on his mind during his party’s maiden Gudi Padwa rally at Shivaji Park, as residents of the area, led by Ashok Rawat of Wecom Trust, moved the Bombay High Court against the use of loudspeakers for the rally.

The trust has claimed that although the BMC and the police granted the MNS permission to hold the rally, the park falls within a silence zone. The trust has also claimed that the BMC charged the MNS an insufficient security deposit.

Thackeray, whose crumbling party has been routed at the ballot box repeatedly, is expected to use the April 8 event to try to revive the party ahead of the crucial BMC elections in 2017.

“I assure you, there will be miracle after April. I’m doing my work, you do yours,” the MNS chief had told party office bearers in Nasik last month. The High Court will hear the matter today. The BMC issued permission to the MNS to host its rally after a go ahead by Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta.

The state government had decided that Shivaji Park could be used for cultural and religious activities for 45 days in a year. Of these, the state kept six days for discretionary use, which meant the park could be used for political rallies.