A day after the Shiv Sena supremo was cremated at Shivaji Park in Dadar, scores of people continued to throng the iconic ground to pay their respects to their departed leader yesterday.
A crowd of more than 15 lakh people was reported to have turned up for the funeral on Sunday, and it was observed that following the cremation, many Shiv Sainiks chose to stay at the cremation spot overnight out of reverence to their leader.
Those who chose to return to their homes, made a beeline for the cremation spot yesterday, as they didn’t get a chance to pay their respects to their leader on Sunday. Only VVIPS were provided a glimpse of Balasaheb.
They were seen praying and wishing that Balasaheb kept showering his blessings on the party and his followers. With the cremation spot barricaded and only a small opening accessible, Shiv Sena party leaders thought this was an ideal way for supporters to pay homage to their leader.
Sanjay Raut, Sena’s Member of Parliament and spokesperson, said, “The cremation spot would remain as it is, and people will be allowed to enter and pay their respects there.”
Banjibhai Sondharva, a Sena loyalist who came to offer prayers, said, “I was here on Sunday, and was part of the funeral procession that started from Matoshree. But, because of the huge crowds, I could not get a glimpse of Balasaheb, and hence I thought to visit Shivaji Park today and seek his blessings.”
Thane resident Asavari Gokhale, who also visited the grounds, said, “He was a great man. His popularity was proven after massive crowds were witnessed on Sunday. But because I couldn’t stand for long, I chose to come today expecting less crowd. To my surprise, even today the place is crowded. Luckily, I managed to pray and hope he rests in peace.”