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Week on, no sign of all-party panel to choose memorial site

Even as each passing day adds to the controversy over choosing a suitable location for a Bal Thackeray memorial, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to form the committee that was supposed to pick a site for the monument to the departed Shiv Sena chief.

It has been a week since the Shiv Sena in the BMC announced an all-party committee would be formed to arrive at a consensus on a befitting location for a memorial to the popular leader.


Paying homage: RR Patil pays tribute to late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray at a condolence meet that was held at Shanmukhanand Hall on Tuesday. Pic/Suresh KK

With no sign of the committee yet, there is chaos and confusion in the minds of politicians as well as the general public over the fate of the memorial.

Last Friday, during a condolence meeting held by the Standing Committee in the civic headquarters, the decision to form the all-party committee was announced by Rahul Shewale of the Shiv Sena.

Making the announcement, Shewale, who is the chairman of the Standing Committee, had said the all-party committee would be led by Mayor Sunil Prabhu.

The Mayor yesterday said the committee had not been formed yet as Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s go-ahead was awaited.

“We have to take Uddhavaji’s sanction for the committee and then the committee will meet to discuss the issue,” he said.

Nationalist Congress Party group leader Dhananjay Pisal said he had not been informed about any developments on the issue. “No committee has been formed yet and even I have not been informed by the Mayor or the Standing Committee chairman,” Pisal said.

Samajwadi Party leader Rais Shaikh said there was no need to form a separate committee.

“We all group leaders can talk on the issue,” Shaikh said. “Why is a separate committee needed?” he asked. Even Shewale seemed to have watered down the original resolve, saying there may not be a separate committee after all. “The final decision will be taken by Uddhavji, but we will take all party leaders into confidence,” he said.

So far, Shiv Sena workers and leaders have been paying homage to their departed leader at the cremation site in Shivaji Park, where a temporary structure has been erected.

While senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi has already claimed that the memorial would be built at Shivaji Park, among the other options that are being talked about is the Mayor’s Bungalow.

Last week, MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande had proposed the creation of a memorial to Thackeray at Indu Mills, about 100 metres from Shivaji Park. 

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