Further upsetting the Shiv Sena’s plans of the memorial for patriarch Bal Thackeray, the state Congress on Saturday said that the demand for the memorial at Shivaji Park was unwarranted and pitched two other locations – the Kohinoor mill, and Matoshree, the Thackeray family’s residence at Bandra (East) — as most suitable.
While the Sena has been keen on having the memorial at the Shivaji Park – where the leaders’ last rites were conducted – as the ground has been a central part of Sena politics, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday closed the door on the demand citing legal hurdles. The open space is a designated playground and locals have also opposed the demand for a memorial there
State Congress Sachin Sawant told a media conference that the coveted ground at Dadar was named after King Shivaji , who the late Sena chief greatly revered.
“We [the Congress] wonder whether Thackeray would have approved of this demand because Shivaji Park (which Thackeray called Shiv Tirth), is named after his idol, and played a major role in his political career,” said Sawant.
Sawant welcomed suggestions that Kohinoor mill (opposite the Sena Bhavan in Dadar) would be most apt site for a memorial.
“The Thackeray family may also think of declaring their Bandra residence ‘Matoshree’ as the departed leader’s memorial,” he said,.
The Kohinoor mill land was jointly owned by a company owned by Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s son, Thackeray’s nephew and MNS chief Raj Thackeray, and a few of their friends. The land was sold for a huge profit and now houses a commercial-cum-residential tower.
Sawant also questioned the demand to name the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport and trans-harbour link after Thackeray.