New Delhi: The proposal over late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's memorial at Shivaji Park in Mumbai has led to a controversy. While Shiv Sena leaders have demanded that Bal Thackeray's memorial should be built at Shivaji Park, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has opposed the move. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has also supported the proposal but the Congress has not cleared its stand.
The face off between the Shiva Sena and the MNS is not new and the idea of Thackeray's memorial has given the two parties one more issue to target each other. Even when Bal Thackeray was alive the conflict between his son Uddhav and nephew Raj was well know, which led the latter to quit the Shiv Sena and form his own party. Even after Thackeray's death the two cousins have been at loggerheads.
A special prayer meeting was held to pay a tribute of Bal Thackeray on Thursday in Mumbai when the Shiv Sena demanded that a memorial be built in Shivaji Park for Bal Thackeray. Thackeray had formed the Shiv Sena in Shivaji Park in 1966. At the meeting several proposals including renaming the Dadar Railway Station and several important landmarks of Mumbai after Bal Thackeray were also accepted.
But Raj Thackeray's party has opposed the move saying that the memorial should be build not in the Shivaji Park, but on the Indu Mill land. But the given the MNS's stance, the dispute is likely to continue. Even the residents association of Shivaji Park have opposed the Shiv Sena's move, fearing that they would lose the ground.
Significantly, there have been several efforts to build a memorial dedicated to Dr BR Ambedkar on the Indu Mill ground.