Uddhav climbs down, ready to shift Bal Thackeray's 'samadhi sthal'

Thackeray samadhi sthal
Under pressure from the government, Shiv Sena today indicated its willingness to shift Bal Thackeray's memorial to the margins of Shivaji Park in the city.

"Shiv Sainiks will with their own hands shift the 'samadhi sthal' a little," Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said in a statement in party mouthpiece 'Saamna', of which he is the new editor.

"The stance of Shiv Sena on the 'samadhi sthal' has always been that of restraint. A permanent 'samadhi sthal' will come up at the 'Shiv Teerth' by shifting the present samadhi sthal a little," Uddhav said.

Uddhav's readiness to shift back the structure to the margins of the Shivaji Park in Mumbai is a climb down from earlier announcements by senior party leaders that Shiv Sainiks would not budge from the present structure.

The Sena leader's statement comes in wake of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation giving a notice to the party over the structure.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had also said that Shivaji Park, a large open ground in central Mumbai, was given to the Shiv Sena for Bal Thackeray's cremation only and they must vacate it.

"Shivaji Park was given for Thackeray's cremation on the grounds that it will be returned in the same condition. We want the Shiv Sena to abide by the conditions and follow the law," Chavan had said.

Since Bal Thackeray's death last month, the Shiv Sena had been pressing for a memorial to be built at Shivaji Park.

Sena workers had gathered in large number at the funeral site amid reports that the authorities were planning to remove the structure that has come up at the place.

Opposing the demand for a Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park, the state Congress had said no "other" memorial should come up at the sprawling ground in central Mumbai.

"Shivaji Maharaj is a God for people of Maharashtra. His memorial is already there at Shivaji Park," MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre had said.

The 86-year-old Sena chief was cremated on November 18 at Shivaji Park, the same ground where he had addressed his followers during Dussehra rallies for over 40 years.

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