Bal Thackeray memorial site chosen due to selfish interests: Raj Thackeray

Hours after the announcement of setting up of a grand memorial for Bal Thackeray at Mumbai Mayor's bungalow premises on Tuesday, MNS President Raj Thackeray hit out at the Shiv Sena alleging that the decision was driven by 'selfish and personal interests'.

Raj ThackerayRaj Thackeray

"They (referring to Shiv Sena) had been eyeing the Mayor's bungalow for a long time. They only want the bungalow in the name of Balasaheb. We cannot let this happen because selfish and personal interests are responsible for the decision," Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai in a hurriedly called press conference.

With Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray by his side, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday made the announcement on the third death anniversary of Bal Thackeray, a choice which was strongly pushed by the Sena.

"When you can find a place for (Dr BR Ambedkar) Ambedkar's memorial, can't one place be found for Balasaheb? There are other huge plots vacant in the vicinity where a huge memorial befitting Balasaheb's personality can be built," he said.

Thackeray said he would soon be meeting Fadnavis to oppose the decision of building the memorial at Mayor's bungalow at Shivaji Park area in Central Mumbai. "Only because you are in government, does it mean you can do whatever you wish to? Why are you creating unnecessary controversies in the name of Balasaheb? It's clear that if the bungalow is given for the memorial, it will become Shiv Sena's property," he said.

The party chief making a jibe questioned the rationale behind the move and said Sena in near future might ask for the Raj Bhavan (Governor's official residence) or the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's official residence) to set up some other memorial.

"These (Mayor house, Raj Bhavan) are official residences meant for a Constitutional authority. Memorials can't be built at such places. They should first make it clear whether they want the Mayor's bungalow or do they want a memorial. If they want a memorial, then there are many unused properties that can be used," Thackeray said.

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