On Bal Thackeray's fifth death anniversary, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis dedicated a proposed site for the national memorial of the Shiv Sena founder. The location for the memorial would be the existing Mumbai Mayor's Bungalow at Shivaji Park near the Dadar Chowpatty, on the banks of the Arabian Sea. The prime sea-facing memorial site spans across 11,500 sq mt. It includes the sprawling bungalow constructed in the late 1920s, has been the Mumbai Mayor's official residence since 1964.
Mr Fadnavis offered floral tributes to Balasaheb Thackeray at the proposed memorial site.
"I bow humbly before our guiding force, Balasaheb Thackeray. The work on handing over the property for the memorial is in its final stage. We are making efforts to clear it on priority," he said, sharing the dais with ally and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.
Following the announcement, a donation of Rs 2 crore was made by Uddhav Thackeray to the Chief Minister's Farmers Relief Fund for farmer welfare.
All elected leader of Shiv Sena parted with their one month's salary to collect this amount for the Chief Minister's fund. Of this collected amount, Rs 10 lakh came from Uddhav Thackeray alone.
On Friday morning, the Thackeray family including Uddhav Thackeray, his wife Rashmi, their son and Yuva Sena chief Aditya and other family members paid homage at the proposed memorial site.
The family members were accompanied by top Shiv Sena leaders. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi was also present.
Balasaheb Thackeray died in 2012 due to cardiac arrest. He was 86. He had formed the Shiv Sena party in 1966 to advocate for the interests of Maharashtrians in Mumbai's political and professional landscape. As soon as the news for his death broke out, Mumbai came to a virtual halt, with shops and commercial establishments shutting down.
(With Inputs From IANS)