The makeshift memorial to Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park was at the centre of a fresh controversy on Monday, with the Sena reluctant to take down the structure without written assurance of an alternative site from the civic body.
However, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte said the Sena had not sent him any proposal about the alternative spot.
“They had assured us that the makeshift memorial would be removed on December 17. They still have time to remove it till midnight,” Kunte told HT on Monday evening.
When asked what the BMC would do in case the Sena continues to stay put, Kunte said, “We will see what action can be taken if the structure is not removed.”
On December 14, the Sena had declared that the structure would be dismantled by party workers on Monday. Sources claimed party workers would take down the memorial at midnight on Monday, but at the time of going to press, they had not done so.
The Sena’s contention was that the BMC had not provided them assurance that an alternate site would be designated at the park itself, where they could install a plaque and a garden in the late Sena chief’s memory, Sena legislator Sada Sarvankar said.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu and civic standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale held a series of talks with senior BMC officials at the Mayor’s bungalow across the road, presumably about a way to sort out the memorial issue.
“No decision has been taken yet on either removing the memorial from the site or on proposing an alternate location at the ground for the memorial,” Prabhu said, refusing to divulge any more details.
A Sena leader, requesting anonymity, said . “A section of party workers have decided it is better for us to remove the structure ourselves rather than wait for the BMC to do it. It would demoralise our cadres,” the leader said.