Mumbai: The Shiv Sena is preparing for a long-drawn battle to ensure that Bal Thackeray, who founder the outfit in 1966 and died in Mumbai on November 17, gets a memorial at Mumbai's Shivaji Park. While the BMC has asked the Shiv Sena to dismantle the temporary structure built around the area where Thackeray was cremated in Shivaji Park, the party has decided to take legal recourse.
The BMC has already sent the notice to Shiv Sena leaders Sunil Prabhu and Sanjay Raut, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, on December 2 to vacate Shivajui Park and dismantle the structure. The notice has also told the party that if the structure is not demolished voluntarily, then the BMC would pull it down. The Shiv Sena has also been warned that it will be responsible for the situation after the demolition.
Prabhu is Mumbai's mayor and he accepted that he had been got a notice. He said the party leadership will decide on the next course of action. He said that the place where Thackeray was cremated has become a shrine for Shiv Sena activists and lakhs of people have visited it. He added that he would speak to the Maharashtra government to resolve the issue. On the other hand Raut said that the party would move Bombay High Court.
Meanwhile, the BMC is also preparing to take on the Shiv Sena. It has already filed a caveat in the Bombay High Court, asking the court to take listen to its views before passing any order on the proposed Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park.
Even Shiv Sena's ally the BJP has not come out openly in support of the Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park. While the BJP also favours a memorial for Thackeray, the party is of the view that Shiv Sena should find a solution after consultation with the state government.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Thackeray was a leader loved and respected by a large number of people and a memorial should be built in his honour. The Maharashtra government and Shiv Sena should find a solution to this, said Prasad.
The Maharashtra government had given Shiv Sena the permission only for a day for the use of Shivaji Park for Thackeray's cremation and its related activities. But the Shiv Sena is not ready to vacate the area now.