Calling for state-wide debate on the proposed dual venue of the 82nd Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, the Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Monday raised many questions on the practical aspects of holding the meet at San Francisco and Ratnagiri.
Reacting to the reported decision of the Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal, the apex literary body in Maharashtra, to hold the prestigious annual literary meet at two places following protests over the US venue, Thackeray in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna said:"We all should know whether there will be two presidents of the Sammelan and which of the two conventions will be treated as the official 82nd event".
If there is one common president of the Sammelan, the Mahamandal chief Kautikrao Thale-Patil should explain how he is going to be present at both the venues simultaneously, Thackeray said.
On a sarcastic note, the Sena chief said: "If Thale-Patil has any formula to accomplish this miracle, he should duly hand it over the to the elected President of the Sammelan to enable him to attend the deliberations in the US and Ratnagiri in Konkan at the same time."
While stating that he did not want to join the present controversy over the US venue of the meet slated in February 2009, Thackeray, however, said that since the state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has declared his support to the US fixture, he should also extend financial assistance to the one in Ratnagiri, in case two Sammelans were held.