'Shiv Sainiks will decide on Bal Thackeray's memorial'
State Congress president Manikrao Thakre had said that it was up to the government to take a decision on permitting a memorial.
Mumbai: Appealing for restrain over the debate on erecting a memorial for his late father and Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, party executive president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said, the decision in this regard will be taken by lakhs of Sainiks. "This is not the time to argue on the issue of memorial. A tragedy has befallen the Thackeray family and the extended family of Shiv Sena has not recovered from this terrible loss. Those arguing against the memorial should take our sentiments into consideration. Those arguing should help us to maintain restrain," Uddhav said in a statement in Mumbai.
"The crowd of 25 lakh supporters who attended the funeral of the Sena chief behaved in a disciplined manner. I appreciate their restrain," he said. With the voices in favour and against the Sena patriarch's memorial getting louder, Uddhav said, "the decision on the memorial will be taken by these lakhs of followers. I will not come in between the Sena chief and the shiv sainiks".
Both Congress and NCP are treading cautiously on the memorial issue. State Congress president Manikrao Thakre had said that it was up to the government to take a decision on permitting a memorial. "If the government seeks the state Congress view, I will give it to the the authorities," he added.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said since the Shivaji Park ground, where Thackeray was cremated on Sunday, falls under the jurisdiction of Shiv Sena-BJP-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) "it is upto them to take a decision". Maharashtra Government has said that it would "positively consider" the proposal for memorial if the demand was made.
However, Shivaji Park resident organisations have opposed the move. Ashok Rawat, who represents Wecom Trust, on whose PIL Shivaji Park was declared a silent zone by high court, told PTI, "by and large we are opposing any construction in Shivaji Park. "Any construction there will violate provisions of Development Control (DC) rules. Shivaji Park is in memory of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. How can it be a memorial for two people. Even if government decides to build a Shivaji museum in the Park, the NGO will oppose it," he said.
The NGO trustees are meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday night to discuss the issue and will take a decision on whether to move court or not, Rawat added.