After nearly a month of aggressive posturing, the Shiv Sena on Thursday indicated its readiness to shift the makeshift memorial to Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in Shivaji Park here to the park’s margins.
“The Shiv Sainiks would, with their own hands, shift the ‘Samadhi Sthal’ a little and a permanent memorial would come up at that spot,” said executive president Uddhav Thackeray, finally breaking his silence in a front-page statement in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana .
“The structure would remain at Shivaji Park, but a little distance away, near the massive statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji at the northwest corner of the park,” he said.
Mr. Uddhav Thackeray, now the mouthpiece’s editor, said the Sena’s stance on the ‘Samadhi Sthal’ was always “one of restraint” and “unscrupulous political types” kicked up a needless row.
His statement came after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s notice to the party to dismantle the structure expired on Wednesday.
The Sena’s intransigence on the matter had threatened to escalate into a violent showdown, with the Thackeray cremation spot being guarded day and night by zealous Sainiks. Some party members even vandalised a BMC property in Worli to preclude attempts to raze the structure.