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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Sena wants memorial at Shivaji park, locals say no

Sayli Udas Mankikar and Dharmendra Jore, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 19, 2012
First Published: 15:44 IST(19/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:38 IST(20/11/2012)

Even as the Shiv Sena demanded that the government should allow it to build a memorial for late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park in Dadar, the idea has not gone down well with the residents in the area.

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They will be making representations to the government and probably Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray to lodge their protest. The government has not received any formal request from the Sena yet.

The WECOM Trust, formed by the Shivaji Park residents' association, has decided to oppose the move and will be meeting on Tuesday evening to decide on its plan of actions.

The reaction came on Monday, a day after the Sena patriarch was cremated, when the Sena demanded for a memorial to be constructed at the very place he was laid to rest. "We want his memorial to be built here (Shivaji Park). There is no reason why the government should not be permitting this," said senior Sena leader Manohar Joshi.

The Sena pointed out that if the government could give special permissions to hold cremation at Shivaji Park, considering the historical value it had in his life and even give state honours for a leader of Bal Thackeray's stature, then allowing the construction of a memorial was only natural. HT had on Monday reported that the Sena was likely to make such demand.

While residents said they respect the leader, allowing the construction of a memorial would mean encroaching on a public space.

"We all respect Balasaheb Thackeray, but we would not want a memorial to come up on a ground which is meant for playing," said Ashok Ravat of the WECOM trust.

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