NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday said the late Shiv Sena founder would not have liked the idea of axing trees for the memorial and would have thrashed those who tried to do so amid reports that a memorial of Balasaheb Thackeray in Aurangabad would require the felling of 1,000 trees.
Mr Pawar was speaking at the 37th foundation day of Mahatma Gandhi Mission (MGM) and 75th birthday celebrations of its secretary Ankushrao Kadam.
"Balasaheb Thackeray was a nature-lover. Creating his memorial is appreciable. But Balasaheb himself would not have liked the idea of cutting trees for it. He would have thrashed the one who tried to hack trees," he said.
Sharad Pawar further said, "Hand over the memorial project to MGM. I believe they will make it so beautiful that people will rush to see it."
As per the plan, the memorial will come up in Priyadrshini Garden in the CIDCO area of the city. However, as media reports emerged that the memorial would require the felling of around 1,000 trees, citizens groups opposed the move.
A senior Shiv Sena leader had recently claimed that Maharashtra Chief Minister and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had given "oral orders" against felling of trees for the proposed memorial.
About the education sector, Mr Pawar said, "People are looking at education as a business and a way to earn bread and butter. I think this is serious. Youths in Marathwada have merit, they only need encouragement."