A day after it dropped its aggressive stance by indicating its willingness to shift the makeshift memorial to Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park, the Shiv Sena on Friday said that the structure would be shifted on December 17.
“We propose to shift the ‘Samadhi Sthal’ [makeshift structure] where Balasaheb was cremated. The Sainiks will implement the procedure with their own hands,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut, speaking to The Hindu.
After a month-long deadlock with State authorities, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray finally broke his silence on Thursday by agreeing to shift the ‘Samadhi Sthal’ to the margins of Shivaji Park.
Sena leader and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale confirmed that the Sena had replied to the notice sent by the Corporation earlier this month.
The BMC served notices to Mayor Sunil Prabhu and Mr. Raut asking them to remove the makeshift memorial of the Sena patriarch immediately.
The structure, converted into a sanctum sanctorum by zealous Shiv Sainiks, continued to be rooted to the cremation spot in flagrant violation of civic norms even a month after Thackeray passed away. (on November 17).
However, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan made it clear to the Sena leaders that there was no scope in erecting a memorial at the 28-acre Shivaji Park, which is declared a ‘silent zone.’
Mr. Chavan granted special permission for Thackeray’s cremation at Shivaji Park only for a day, after which it was expected that the Sena would remove the temporary structure on its own within a reasonable period.
The Sena came under heavy criticism from citizen groups, who are unhappy with the party’s blatant attempts to encroach upon public property in such a cavalier fashion.