Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray addresses a rally in Mumbai on April 6, 2019. . Image Source: IANS News

Mumbai, April 22 : The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday finally accorded permission to Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for holding a public rally here at Shahid Bhagat Singh Maidan, Kala chowki on April 23.

Originally, the MNS had planned to hold the rally at Wadala on April 24. But after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised objections, the BMC and the State Elections Office denied clearance to MNS for organising the event here.

So far, Raj has addressed around five rallies in the state, securing massive response from the people, making it a 'must view' even among all parties' candidates.

In his characteristic style, he speaks out his mind in constituencies where opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are contesting against the BJP-Shiv Sena.

Though the MNS has no candidates in the Lok Sabha polls, his appeal of "not to vote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP" has struck a chord among the voters, especially the fence-sitters and even the youth.

Videos of his speeches (in Marathi) were being translated, dubbed or sub-titled and gone viral in other parts of the country where voting is coming up in phases, worrying the BJP.

A MNS leader claimed that the government has allegedly examined legal options for gagging Raj Thackeray-MNS rallies and even de-register him as a voter.

But when all this didn't fructify, the leader said, they tried to stall permissions for his rallies in Mumbai, considered the bastion of ruling ally Shiv Sena.

Raj has said that he was flooded with offers from various parties/groups to address public meetings or rallies around the country, but he had not yet made up his mind.

However, MNS insiders wink and hint that "more fireworks may be in store" across the country, but only after the Maharashtra final phase of elections end on April 29.

Rubbing its hands off the fracas, the State Electoral Office clarified that it gave permission for rallies to all political parties as per rules and regulations.

"The allegations by MNS is false and we have not denied permission to the party," the SEO said in a statement late on Sunday.

The BJP has strongly criticised the MNS and Raj Thackeray, comparing him to a hired hand who was "dancing in a wedding invited".

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