Several eyebrows were raised when Raj Thackeray and his MNS party workers did not show up at Shivaji park on Sunday to pay tribute to late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. However, they aren’t far behind in the race to show more devotion towards him.
The party has now sprung a surprise by demanding for a bust of the deceased party supremo in Vidhan Bhavan, next to that of Lokmanya Tilak.
Bala Nandgaonkar, MNS group leader in the state assembly, placed this demand before Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar yesterday, in the presence of Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai and others.
Nandgaonkar made the demand during the business advisory committee meeting on the eve of the winter session of the state legislature yesterday. In the past, he has made several demands for a portrait of Thackeray, and has even written letters insisting upon it.
“I don’t know whether the statue will be installed in the open space opposite Mantralaya. But a bust can be installed at the Vidhan Bhavan porch. It can be near the bust of Lokmanya Tilak. We only want the permission, as the entire cost will be borne by us,” he added.
No immediate response came in from the assembly speaker Dilip Walse Patil, CM Prithviraj Chavan and Dy CM Ajit Pawar, said the MNS MLA, who represents Sewri in the state assembly. “They have said we will see to it,” he said.