The Congress today opposed construction of a memorial for Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray at the Mayor’s Bungalow at Shivaji Park here.
Congress Mumbai unit president Sanjay Nirupam said the memorial should instead be built at ‘Matoshree,’ the residence of Thackeray family, where Bal Thackeray too resided for long.
“The Mayor’s bungalow is a place that has decades of prestige associated with it. It can only be used as the official residence of the Mayor who holds a constitutional post. The Shiv Sena should instead build the memorial at ‘Matoshree’, where Balasaheb lived for close to 40 years,” Nirupam told reporters here today.
The party also demanded that the Maharashtra government should not fund the memorial and threatened of an agitation, along with approaching the courts if the government does not review its decision.
“The other option that the Shiv Sena has is to buy the plot. It is a rich party. If they wish, they can buy a plot at Nariman Point, Worli or near the Savarkar memorial (in Shivaji Park area) and construct a memorial for Balasaheb there. The cash strapped state government cannot be allowed to fund the memorial as the party itself has enough funds,” he said.
Nirupam also said the state government has already imposed additional taxes to help drought affected farmers and in such a scenario it cannot spend funds for any other activity.
Nirupam alleged that the BJP has “shut Sena’s mouth” by allotting the Mayor’s bungalow for the memorial so that the party does not “blackmail” BJP in future.
“We will approach the courts. But, before that, we will hold an agitation in a democratic way. We will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and demand that he review his government’s decision,” Nirupam said.
Yesterday, Fadnavis had announced that a grand memorial for Thackeray will be built at the Mayor’s bungalow.
Opposing the move, MNS chief Raj Thackeray had yesterday demanded that the memorial should not come at the said place.