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Dec 04, 2012 at 12:50pm IST

BMC says no to Bal Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park, tells Shiv Sena to dismantle structure

Mumbai: The Brihan Mumbai Corporation has sent a notice to the Shiv Sena to dismantle the temporary structure built at the Shivaji Park where party founder Bal Thackeray's cremation took place. BMC has denied permission for a Bal Thackeray memorial at the Shivaji Park.

BMC says 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. "The purpose for which the site was alloted (for Thackeray's cremation) is over. Therefore, we have asked both Prabhu and Raut to remove the structure immediately or face legal consequences," Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte told PTI. Meanwhile, Mayor Sunil Prabhu has told CNN-IBN that he hasn't received any notice so far.

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Earlier, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray had said that the controversy over the Bal Thackeray memorial was unnecessary. Uddhav in an interview to Sena's paper 'Saamna' said that the Sena will continue fighting for 'Marathi Manoos' and 'Hindutvavaad'.

Shiv Sena party workers have been demanding for a memorial at Shivaji Park but the Maharashtra government is yet to respond to it. Opposing the demand, state Congress on Saturday 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.

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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. Last week, Sena had equated the edifice where Balasaheb's last rites were conducted at Shivaji Park, to Ayodhya. "The sanctity of the place should be maintained. It is like a temple for us and we won't remove the structure that has come up at the cremation site," Raut had told reporters.

He had also asked the government and court not to intervene in the issue. Senior party leader Manohar Joshi first made the demand for the memorial of Bal Thackeray at the site, soon after he was cremated on November 18. Thackeray died on November 17 at his residence 'Matoshree'.

(With additional information from PTI)