Shiv Sena divided over shifting Thackeray's makeshift memorial



Mumbai: Divergent statements emerged on Monday from Shiv Sena over shifting of the makeshift memorial which has come up at the spot at Shivaji Park where party chief Bal Thackeray was cremated a month ago.

While one Sena leader said BMC, the local civic body, should provide alternative site for the structure, another said party Executive President Uddhav Thackeray will keep his word given to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on its shifting.

"We want a written assurance from BMC (on alternate arrangement) to shift the makeshift memorial. Discussions in this regard are on with Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray," party leader Sada Sarawankar told reporters.

However, senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, who today paid homage at the site, where Thackeray was consigned to flames on November 18, said, "Uddhavji will keep his word given to the Chief Minister (on removal of the memorial)."

Putting the onus on the Sena Executive President to take a call on the issue, Kadam, a legislator, said, "Uddhavji is now our family head and he will take the final decision. He will not backtrack from word he has given to Chavan."

Sources close to Uddhav told a news agency that the temporary memorial would be shifted tomorrow. "The civic body should make alternate arrangement in this regard taking into consideration sentiments of the people," they added.

Senior Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut had last week said the site in Central Mumbai, which has become a pilgrim site for the Shiv Sainiks and Thackeray's supporters, may be shifted on December 17.

Early this month, BMC had asked Sena to remove the structure from Shivaji Park, a place closely associated with the over four decades old history of the party.

BMC officials were not available for comment.

PTI