Mumbai: Apparently buckling under pressure from the government, the Shiv Sena on Thursday agreed to shift the temporary structure built in the memory of its departed leader Bal Thackeray at the Shivaji Park here.
As reported by private TV news channel IBN, the Shiv Sena agreed to shift the temporary structure some 20 feet away.
Shiv Sena softened its stand on the issue days after the Maharashtra government the party to vacate the Mumbai park and abide by the law.
The warning to Shiv Sena came from Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who said that Shivaji Park, a large open ground in central Mumbai, was given to the party just for Bal Thackeray`s cremation and it should now be returned to the state government.
"Shivaji Park was given for Bal 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 said.
After Bala Saheb’s death, the Shiv Sena has demanded a memorial to be built at Shivaji Park in the memory of its departed leader.
Sena workers rcently gathered in large number at the funeral site of Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park in Mumbai amid reports that the authorities were planning to remove the structure that has come up at the place.
Sena legislator Eknath Shinde had earlier said, "Come what may, we won`t allow the removal of the 30x30 feet chowthara (platform)."
Referring to the large number of Shiv Sainiks from Mumbai, Thane and other places who had come to Shivaji Park, Shinde said they would not budge from the venue and also foil attempts to remove the structure.
Meanwhile, the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had also sent a notice to the Shiv Sena to dismantle the temporary structure built at the Shivaji Park.
BMC said that the permission to use the ground was given only for the cremation and that it should be restored to its original status as it is a reserved plot as per the city development plan.
Opposing the demand, state Congress last week 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 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 Dassera rallies for over 40 years and the party is keen to have Thackeray`s memorial there.
With PTI Inputs