Mumbai: Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray described the proposed Rs 350 crore memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea as "stupidity" and an election gimmick on Sunday.
"This is stupidity. There is no need for it as there is another memorial of Shivaji near Gateway of India," Thackeray said in an interview to his party mouth piece Saamana.
Asked if the memorial was aimed at wooing voters before the October 13 assembly elections, the 83-year-old Sena chief said, "Yes, definitely. "Like the former Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced free electricity for farmers on the eve of elections but reneged on the promise. Same thing will happen as far as the proposed Shivaji memorial is concerned."
But Congress has said this statement shows Shiv Sena's double-standards.
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane said, "Had we said that there is no need for another statue, what a ruckus they would have created. Now they themselves are saying its not needed. Who are they to tell us it's not needed. It's our wish; it's the wish of the people of the state to have that statue that will attract tourists from across the world. Who are they to tell us? They don't have to come and see it if they don't want to"
Thackeray expressed confidence that the Sena-BJP alliance would wrest power from the Congress-NCP combine adding that he would address a victory rally after the October 13 Assembly elections.
He also made it clear that the reins of Shiv Sena will pass on to his son Uddhav. "The remote control would remain with me and after me it will pass on to Uddhav," he said(.
(With PTI inputs)