Shivaji Park will be Shiv Tirth, says Mayor Prabhu

Shivaji Park may soon be renamed Shiv Tirth if the Shiv Sena has its way and if its partner, the BJP, agrees.

At a press conference on Monday, Mayor Sunil Prabhu of Shiv Sena said the ruling coalition would overrule any opposition to the proposed resolution on the name change at the next general body meeting.

The MNS, Congress, NCP and the Samajwadi Party are against the move. BJP leader Dilip Patel said the party has not yet taken a decision.

"Let the opposition say what it wants about this we will pass the proposal for changing Shivaji Park's name to Shiv Tirth through our majority in the house. We have the support of the BJP," Prabhu said. Shiv Sena has 75 corporators in the 227-strong BMC general body. The BJP has 31 corporators. Shivaji Park will be Shiv Tirth, says Mayor Prabhu

Shiv Sena corporator and standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale is expected to put forward the notice of motion for the name change.

On Monday, Patel said, "I was busy with the Gujarat elections. I read the agenda only today. Municipal councillors of the party normally discuss the notice of motion together before a decision is taken."

He added, "I have told the Mayor that we have not yet come to any decision, and that the Shiv Sena should have discussed the proposal with us before making such decisions. We will discuss the issue in the group leaders' meeting in the coming days. If no consensus is reached, we will see."

Vociferously opposing the notice of motion, MNS leader Dilip Lande said, "We do not support this way of passing the proposal. If the Sena gets it passed, we will take to the streets and rally in opposition."

Prabhu, drawing on the intimate link between deceased Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and the Dadar ground, said, "Balasaheb spent a lot of time at Shivaji Park and fondly called it Shiv Tirth. Shiv Sena was born here and he has given many speeches here. In Marathi, Shiv Tirth means holy land. This is where Balasaheb was cremated, this is a holy land for us."

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