After three weeks of politicking and high drama, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday finally met both Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and home minister RR Patil to discuss the issue of its late chief Bal Thackeray’s memorial.
As reported in HT’s December 8 edition, the Sena proposes that a small strip of garden with a plaque be built at a corner of Shivaji Park in lieu of the large samadhi currently there.
As per the proposal, a larger memorial would be built across the road, between the mayor’s bungalow and The Park club.
The plan was put forward during a 45-minute meeting in Nagpur between Chavan and Sena leaders, including legislator Subhash Desai, mayor Sunil Prabhu, Rahul Shewale and Milind Narvekar. The leaders also held a 30-minute discussion with Patil on the same issue.
The Sena delegation has also proposed that the yet-to-be-built Navi Mumbai international airport be named after the Sena chief.
The party has written to the central government about getting a stamp released in memory of Bal Thackeray.
Chavan confirmed that the meeting took place, but said no decision had been taken.
“I have heard them out and I have told them they should make sure that no trouble is created at the site or in Mumbai over this issue,” said Chavan.
Sources said Chavan expressed unhappiness with the Sena for breaking its commitment to vacate the ground in one day – the party had got permission to use Shivaji Park only on November 18 for the cremation.
The CM said he has told Sena leaders that they should first remove the structure they have built and are guarding on the ground.