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Maha Govt trumps Oppn rally organisers in booking venue

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

In what comes as a dampener for opposition parties holding the 'Save Constitution' rally here on January 26, the Port Trust (MbPT) today said the sit-in venue of the protest has already been booked by the BJP-led government in

The 'Save Constitution' march organisers approached the MbPT yesterday seeking permission but that space was already booked by the minorities department of the state government, told

The minorities department holds a "mushaira" (poetic meet) at the Gateway of promenade ever year on Republic Day, the said.

If the rally organisers want to go ahead with their plan, they should "coordinate" with the "mushaira" organisers, Bhatia said, adding the Central government-run MbPT has "no issue" with anyone holding an event there.

It is a day-long booking done for the "mushaira" as its organisers put up a stage at the venue, he added.

The Port charges Rs 2.5 lakh per day for use of the space but may not charge the amount from the "mushaira" organisers as it is a government event, Bhatia said.

Non-BJP parties and groups are planning the 'Save Constitution' rally on January 26, alleging that the founding document of the Constitution is under threat under the BJP regime.

Top leaders from the Congress, NCP, CPI(M), CPI, (Secular) and RJD are expected to attend the event, which will culminate with a nearly two-hour sit-in near the next to the Gateway of

The march is being seen as an attempt to consolidate anti-BJP forces ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Sharad Pawar, former JD(U) Sharad Yadav, communist leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Dalit MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani and are among those expected to attend the opposition's march.

from Raju Shetti, the convener of the march, told that participants will gather at near university around 1 pm, and walk to at the Gateway of

"This will be a silent morcha (march). After reaching the Gateway, they will stage a sit-in for some time. There will be no speeches," he said.

Pawar will participate in the march, confirmed.

and are also taking part.

Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is also expected to attend, and efforts were on to get leaders of Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool to participate in the march, sources close to Shetti said.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP is organising 'Tiranga Yatra' in the city on the same day, apparently to counter the opposition's event.

said ministers, MPs and MLAs will participate in the Yatra.

will address the gathering when it converges at Kamgar Maidan, he said.

The BJP has dubbed the rally at Kamgar Maidan as 'Samvidhan Samman rally'.

The procession will start from Chaityabhumi, the in Dadar, before reaching Kamgar Maidan in central Mumbai.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 24 2018. 21:25 IST