The Brihan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) has dashed off a notice to Shiv Sena to dismantle the temporary structure built at the sprawling Shivaji Park where party founder Bal Thackeray's cremation took place. Incidentally, Shiv Sena is heading a ruling alliance in the 227-member BMC.
BMC administration has denied permission for a Bal Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park. BMC had served notice on Monday night to Shiv Sena mayor Sunil Prabhu and the party MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut.
The administration’s move comes at a time when the Shiv Sena has so far declined to remove the structure. Raut had recently said that the cremation site was similar to Ayodhya. Further, Raut went on to add that the sanctity of the place should be maintained and added that it is like a temple for Shiv Sainiks and they won't remove the structure that has come up at the cremation site. He had also asked the government and court not to intervene in the issue.
BMC official informed 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 said.
The 86-year-old Shiv Sena supremo was cremated on November 18 at Shivaji Park where Thackeray had addressed his followers during Dassera rallies for over 40 years.
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'.