Offices of all political parties sealed at BMC HQ after face-off between Sena factions

The Brihamumbai Municipal Corporation administration has sealed offices of all political parties at the BMC headquarters here following a face-off between the rival Shiv Sena factions.

Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, who is also the BMC’s administrator, told PTI on Thursday that the civic body took the step on Mumbai Police’s instructions after the incident on Wednesday at the civic headquarters, which has offices of all major political parties on the ground floor of the heritage building.

The rival Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde faced off on Wednesday evening at the party’s office at the civic headquarters in south Mumbai. Tension had prevailed for an hour on the premises till police intervened.

Sheetal Mhatre, spokesperson of the Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, said the civic administration has sealed offices of the Shiv Sena, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Samajwadi party at the civic headquarters.

A political activist said they found their party office located on the ground floor of the BMC headquarters sealed when they reached the office as usual on Thursday morning.

“Our party office was sealed before we reached here in the morning. The administration has sealed the offices of all parties probably after the ruckus at the Shiv Sena office last evening,” he said.

Mr. Chahal told PTI, “The step has been taken as per the police instructions.”

On Wednesday, the confrontation took place after North Central Mumbai MP Rahul Shewale, former standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav and former corporator Sheetal Mhatre, all belonging to the Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, entered the party office around 5 p.m.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) faction’s former corporators including Ashish Chemburkar and Sachin Padwal objected to their presence, leading to heated exchanges, sources had said.

Tension prevailed for nearly an hour with workers from both sides shouting slogans before the police stepped in and removed everyone from the office.

Both factions claimed there was no attempt by any side to stake claim to the party office, contrary to some reports.

The tenure of corporators of the cash-rich BMC, which was controlled by the Shiv Sena, ended in March this year and its elections are overdue.

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