Shiv Sena proposes garden memorial in Shivaji Park

The Shiv Sena Tuesday proposed that a memorial platform and landscaped garden be created for Bal Thackeray inside Shivaji Park close to its boundary. The proposal will be placed before the general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Thursday. It will need the consent of the municipal commissioner to go through.

As reported in the Mumbai edition of The Indian Express Tuesday, the Sena discreetly dismantled the temporary memorial in the park late on Monday night.

Senior Sena leaders were also discussing alternative locations for a grand memorial to Thackeray, similar to those to Veer Savarkar and the martyrs of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement.

"The lease of a private gymkhana located behind the mayor's bungalow has lapsed recently. We are considering this plot as one of the possible locations for constructing a grand memorial for Balasaheb where different aspects of his life including his original cartoons will be displayed," a Sena MLA said.

The state government Tuesday welcomed the Sena's move to remove the makeshift structure, and expressed willingness to arrive at a "mutual decision" on the memorial at a "non-controversial" location.

"We too feel that an apt memorial for the Shiv Sena chief should come up. However, the location should be non-controversial. Everyone can sit and take a mutual decision about it. The government will extend all help possible," Home Minister R R Patil said in Nagpur.

Mayor Sunil Prabhu said the proposed samadhi inside Shivaji Park will be a green patch on an area measuring 20 feet by 40 feet, between the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Nagrik Sangh along Veer Savarkar Marg (Cadell Road).

The urn containing Thackeray's ashes would be placed on the ground and covered by the green patch, which will be grown around a tree that Thackeray planted on his 75th birthday.

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