Mumbai: Forgetting all odds, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray came together on Tuesday to pay tributes to Sena founder Bal Thackeray on his death anniversary and announced the plan to set up a grand memorial for Bal Thackeray at the Mayor’s bungalow in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park area.
“Balasaheb was the man responsible for making the alliance of BJP and Shiv Sena. He had been a guiding light for all of us who helped make Maharashtra that is respected everywhere. A memorial befitting his status will be set up at Mayor’s bungalow and the entire cost will be borne by the Government,” Fadnavis said.
The announcement marked days of deliberations on the site of the memorial to be built for Bal Thackeray, who founded Shiv Sena and steered it to become a central political force in the state.
“After I had announced the construction of a memorial, we set up an empowered committee headed by the Chief Secretary and secretaries of the GAD, UDD, Mumbai Police Commissioner and BMC Commissioner. The committee was entrusted with the task of suggesting us the places of memorial,” Fadnavis said.
The Chief Minister said the committee suggested eight places, and after extensive deliberations with Uddhav, the final place was decided.
“Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Anil Desai visited all these places and we have finally decided that the memorial will come up at Mayor’s bungalow,” he said.
Fadnavis also announced that a public trust headed by Uddhav which will be formed to work out the modalities of the memorial.
“The broad framework of the memorial has been decided. The intricacies will now be worked out. The names of other members of this trust will be announced in 2-3 days,” he said.
“The Mayor’s bungalow is a heritage site. It cannot be pulled down. But, the memorial will come up at this place and the Mayor will be shifted to another designated bungalow. That bungalow is more beautiful than this,” he said.
“Balasaheb’s contributions cannot be measured in terms of money. Thus, we have decided whatever be the cost, everything will be borne by the state government,” he said.
Uddhav thanked the Chief Minister for “not merely speaking about the memorial, but working on it constructively as well”.
“Balasaheb’s memorial will be built in a way that everything about him will be known to a person who visits it. Anyone from any part of the world will get every detail of Balasaheb at the memorial,” Thackeray said.
(With PTI inputs)