Rs.100 crore Maharashtra grant for Thackeray Memorial

The Shiv Sena may have threatened to contest the Lok Sabha elections on its own sans an alliance with the BJP, but in a sign of an apparent thaw between the squabbling allies, the Maharashtra state cabinet has approved a Rs.100 crore grant for the memorial of late Sena chief Bal Thackeray.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the Balasaheb Thackeray National Memorial at the 11,551-square-metre site of the Mayor’s bungalow opposite the Shivaji Park in Dadar will be performed on Wednesday, the birth anniversary of the Sena supremo.

BJP leaders claim that measures like these aimed at detente between the two parties and the common agenda of Hindutva may lead to the Shiv Sena finally allying with them for the Lok Sabha.

The public trust formed for the administration of the memorial will have Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his son and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya as life members. Industries minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai is its general secretary. The BMC has already handed over the heritage structure to the trust on lease with a nominal rent and Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar has moved to a bungalow inside the Byculla Zoo.

On Tuesday, the state cabinet approved Rs.100 crore for the memorial from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s funds.

Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who is among those seeking an alliance between the saffron allies, said Thackeray “had a special place in the minds of the people of Maharashtra.”

“He was not just the leader of the Shiv Sena, but of the alliance, The people of Maharashtra want a memorial for him,” stated Mungantiwar, adding that the “alliance (with the Shiv Sena) would happen, there are no worries about it.”

The consultant for the project has prepared a detailed project report which has estimated a cost of Rs.100 crore. The MMRDA will construct the memorial and spend the money for the purpose. The state government will reimburse the cost of the project.

No comments: