Manohar Joshi might have been Bal Thackeray’s blue-eyed boy but that does not mean he is going to give his land for a memorial to his beloved Shiv Sena leader.
“People who are demanding a memorial inside the Kohinoor Mill compound are mad,” Joshi said on the phone on Monday. “It is just not possible... There is no space at all. Three buildings have already come up.”
MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Joshi’ son Unmesh jointly bought the 4.8-acre Kohinoor mill at Rs412 crore in 2005. At present, the mill land is worth more than Rs2,500 crore.
Several Sena leaders as well as Congress and NCP leaders feel Kohinoor Mill is the ideal spot to have a memorial. “It is bang opposite the Sena headquarters in Dadar,” a senior Sena leader said. “There will be no controversies like what is happening in Shivaji Park.”
Most of the residents living in the park area do not want a memorial. Their contention: the playground, which has produced cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, will be destroyed.
“But no one will oppose a memorial inside the Kohinoor Mill compound because it belongs to a Sena leader,” he said. “It is unfortunate that Joshi is against a memorial to the man who made him the CM of Maharashtra and the speaker of the Lok Sabha.”
NCP leader Vijay Kamble said, “If he is saying that three buildings have already come up, he should convert them into world-class educational institution where Marathi students will be given priority. I am sure Joshi will refuse that too. He will not give even an inch of his land to Bal Thackeray. It is sad because Thackeray had given him everything... made him what he is today.” l