All eyes will be on Shivaji Park on Monday, when thousands of Sainiks descend on the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s memorial on his second death anniversary. The party is expecting between one and two lakh visitors throughout the day.
The event is being looked upon as a show of strength for the Sena, which is currently at loggerheads with the Bharatiya Janata Party on the government-formation issue.
There is also speculation about whether chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other BJP leaders will visit the memorial on Monday, considering the stand-off between them, and the worry on how sainiks will react to their presence.
One cannot forget the same sainiks even heckled their own senior leader Manohar Joshi, making him get off the stage for speaking against Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Sena sources said the possibility of MNS chief Raj Thackeray visiting the memorial cannot be ruled out considering the brothers frequently talk to each other even if it is for personal reasons.
“We have made elaborate arrangements and given fixed timings for different units so that everyone does not come in at the same time and create confusion and chaos. People who will start coming in by 7am have been given directions on which roads to use and where the parking spaces will be,” said MP Anil Desai, who is overlooking the arrangements.
Uddhav visited the memorial and reviewed the preparations on Sunday evening. Uddhav and his family, along with senior party leaders will visit the memorial on Monday, after which Uddhav will leave for Konkan on Tuesday to thank voters for standing by him and defeating heavyweight Narayan Rane.