The Shiv Sena has decided to rope in architect Shashi Prabhu as a member of the public trust to be formed for the administration and upkeep of a proposed memorial for former party chief Bal Thackeray. The memorial is planned to be constructed at the mayor’s bungalow, also a protected heritage structure, near Shivaji Park.
Apart from Prabhu, the party has nominated senior legislator and cabinet minister Subhash Desai to be the general secretary of the trust. Party president Uddhav Thackeray and his son, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, are proposed to be lifetime members of the trust, said sources from the party. The state government is likely to appoint other trustees too.
“Party chief Uddhav Thackeray and Yuva Sena Aaditya formally gave the names to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday. Formation of the public trust is underway and the trust is likely to be registered soon,” a Shiv Sena leader said, not wanting to be named.
The chief minister had announced last year, close on the heels of Bal Thackeray’s third death anniversary, that the state government has completed a recce of various options for the location to construct the memorial. The committee led by a chief secretary picked the mayor’s bungalow as the most appropriate site for it. He said that the state government, which would bear the memorial’s cost, would constitute a public trust under Uddhav’s leadership, to administer it.
Shiv Sena leaders had been pressing for the government to finalise the mayor’s bungalow as the site for the memorial as it offers a scenic view of the Dadar chowpatty from the back and Shivaji Park from the front. Shivaji Park also holds importance for the Sena as its late supremo had addressed his first speech from there.
Also, it is customary for Sena chiefs to address their annual Dussehra speeches to their workers at the park.
Incidentally, architect Shashi Prabhu’s firm has also been given the contract of designing a grand memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar at Indu Mills in Dadar, not far from the mayor’s bungalow.