Fadnavis promises Thackeray memorial

The BJP on Monday reached out to the Shiv Sena on the second death anniversary of Sena founder Bal Thackeray with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promising a grand memorial in Mumbai in honour of the charismatic leader.

Fadanvis’s statement came after he offered floral tributes to Thackeray at the Shivaji Park here, where Thackeray was consigned to flames two years ago, after a brief informal interaction with Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

“Balasaheb Thackeray was father figure to many of us,” Fadnavis said, adding that a committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary has been formed to look into various aspects of building a memorial in honour of Thackeray. “We have gained a lot from his blessings. There can be no person like him in Maharashtra,” he added.

Thackeray passed away on November 17, 2012, aged 86, and the next day his mortal remains was consigned to flames in the Shivaji Park very close to the statue of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji.

However, the then Congress-NCP Democratic Front government in Maharashtra has not allowed any construction in that place, but the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, on the first death anniversary, allotted a 800 sqft garden in the place where he was consigned to flames.

It has a three-metre topiary tree at the Centre. As many as 15 flowering plants, including Poinsettia, Petunia, Golden Cypress and Ixora, have been planted around it.

However, a full-fledged memorial was still a dream for the Thackeray family and lakhs of followers of Thackeray.

The Shivaji Park, also a training ground which gave cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, is very important in the history of Shiv Sena. It was built in 1925 and was known for its political rallies.

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