Raj Thackeray at Odds With Cousin Uddhav Again Over Memorial Issue

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Shiv Sena ploy to grab prime property, says Raj Thackeray about the plan to have Bal Thackeray memorial at Mumbai Mayor's residence.

Mumbai:  As Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced the decision to convert the Mumbai Mayor's residence into a memorial for the late Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Uddhav's estranged cousin and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray opposed the move today.

The last time the cousins were publicly seen together was when Bal Thackeray died in November 2012.

They had failed to see eye to eye after Raj fell out with his uncle over the latter's decision to appoint Uddhav as his successor. Raj Thackeray split the Shiv Sena and formed his own entity called the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, which has been in news for its violent politics and its anti-migrant, anti-north Indian stand.

Raj Thackeray, who lives just a stone's throw from the temporary memorial to Bal Thackeray at Shivaji Park and the mayor's residence, said, "Memorials cannot be allowed at official residences. The mayor's residence is an official residence. Next people will want to build memorials at the Chief Minister's residence and Raj Bhavan".

He also alleged that the decision to convert the mayor's residence into a memorial for Bal Thackeray was a ploy by the Shiv Sena to grab prime property.

The mayor's bungalow is a 90-year-old heritage structure on a 4-acre property. It is situated on the posh Veer Savarkar Marg in Dadar, right opposite the iconic Shivaji Park.

Raj Thackeray's comments are likely to create a political controversy and increase the animosity between the two Senas. The Congress says it is not opposed to the idea of the memorial at the Shivaji Bungalow.

Uddhav Thackeray has hailed the idea of the memorial at the mayor's saying it was apt the memorial of Bal Thackeray was coming up next to the memorial of "Hindu hriday samrat" Veer Savarkar.

He has also justified the idea of having the memorial close to Shivaji Park, as the Shiv Sena was founded after a Dusshera rally at the ground.

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