Despite residents’ protests, the Shiv Sena on Saturday categorically said the Shivaji Park beautification will continue under any circumstances and there will be no looking back.
The party said the protests were being “motivated” by those who had “hatred for Shivaji [the Maratha warrior king].”
“Shivaji Park beautification is my project and it will not stop under any circumstances. We noticed that there were no details of Shivaji’s lifetime besides the solitary statue. That is the reason we are setting up two murals at the entrance, depicting his life,” said Uddhav Thackeray Shiv Sena executive president.
“While one mural will be ready and positively inaugurated on Maharashtra Day, May 1, the other mural will take another month.”
The Shiv Sena-run municipal corporation has drawn up a Rs 7-crore project on the beautification of the Dadar public ground, but locals said they were not aware of what was happening till the contractor and his men started digging.
They demanded the work be stopped and their suggestions included in the plan.
On Friday, resident Vivek Bhatkar had said: “The BMC should stop the beautification project, and tell residents exactly what is happening there.”
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) took advantage of this and sided with the residents.
On Wednesday, MNS activists stopped the work as the Shivaji Park area falls under the jurisdiction of MNS legislator Nitin Sardesai.
The Sena saw this as a prestige issue and promised to give protection to the contractor, giving the issue a political colour, a source said.
A meeting was called on Friday to sort out the issue was hijacked by slogan-shouting Sena and MNS activists, leaving residents in the lurch.