Peace offering? Uddhav, Fadnavis to share stage at Thackeray Memorial ceremony

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New Delhi | Published: January 23, 2019 3:10:07 PM

The move is being seen in political circles as an end to the bitterness between the two warring alliance parties. Shiv Sena has been at loggerheads with the BJP on almost all issues and has lately turned one of its most fierce critics.

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Days after allowing a grant of Rs 100 crore for the Thackeray Memorial, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will today share the stage with Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for a small ceremony for the launch of the much-awaited memorial. The move is being seen in political circles as an end to the bitterness between the two warring alliance parties. Shiv Sena has been at loggerheads with the BJP on almost all issues and has lately turned one of its most fierce critics.

Significantly, the bonhomie between the BJP and Shiv Sena comes just ahead of the crucial general elections which are not even 100 days away now. Experts suggest both parties may have come to an understanding and see the invitation to Fadnavis as a peace offering by the Sena to the ruling BJP. Reports also suggest that the Sena chief is being pressured for a poll alliance with the ruling BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Olive branch by the Sena?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too is likely to be invited for the bhoomipoojan of Balasaheb Thackeray memorial, which is scheduled to be held at the Mayor Bungalow at Dadar Chowpatty by the end of January.

Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai, who is also a cabinet minister told News18 that the Balasaheb Thackeray memorial is going to be reality soon and only one permission is awaited. A Ganeshpoojan ceremony will be marking the birth anniversary of late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray today, and Maharashtra CM and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis has been invited.

Delayed for three years
The building of late Shiv Sena leader’s memorial is slated to begin at the Mayor Bungalow at Dadar Chowpatty.

The building which comes under CRZ 1(Coastal Regulation Zone) is governed by environmental norms. In addition, complicating matters further, it also happens to be a heritage structure. Any changes in the structure require permission from many agencies that govern the area, including the Union environment ministry. Therefore, the construction has been challenged in the Bombay high court for the alleged flouting of rules and regulations.

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As per reports, all permissions for the proposed construction are in place, however, a nod from the environment ministry is still awaited.

Both Shiv Sena and the BJP have been exchanging sharp jabs for the last few months. Recently, reports saying that the Sena was miffed over the fact they were not invited for major infrastructure inaugural events surfaced.

One step at a time
However, it seems that these issues have taken a backseat for the Sena, for now at least.

Besides being the birthday of Indian freedom struggle leader, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, January 23 also happens to be the birth anniversary of Shiv Sena leader, the late Balasaheb Thackeray. To mark the day, the party is keen to have a symbolic function and hence it will hold a Ganeshpoojan on the day; as not all permissions are in place to begin the construction of the memorial.

Thackeray memorial has a sentimental value for the Shiv Sena. The memorial has been delayed for the last three years which has frustrated the party. Bal Thackeray’s son and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray heads the trust, which is overseeing the memorial matters.

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