After an unsuccessful meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on the Bal Thackeray memorial issue, the Shiv Sena has finally relented, agreeing to remove the makeshift memorial at Shivaji Park.
Writing in the party mouthpiece “Saamna”, the party’s executive president Udhav Thackery said the memorial would be dismantled and replaced by a plaque, though not exactly at the site where his father was cremated. He hoped the Chief Minister won’t oppose this proposal, even though he hasn’t committed to anything. Uddav also said the party workers themsleves would remove the structure.
The Shiv Sena mellowed apparently anticipating a forced eviction by the high court which is hearing a PIL against the memorial. It remains to be seen whether the court would oppose the party’s proposal to erect a plaque at the ground.
According to party spokesman Sanjay Raut, the new structure would be 15 to 20 feet away from the existing structure.
A Shiv Sena leader accused his senior colleague Manohar Joshi of needlessly raking up the issue, as Chavan had accorded Thackeray a state funeral and the special permission to cremate him at Shivaji Park, without being requested by the party.
“It was only due to the adamant stand taken by Joshi that the memorial drew equally strong objections from Marathi people.