RPI leader Ramdas Athawale today threatened to disrupt the 86th edition of the All India Marathi Literary Conference, to be held in coastal Konkan, if its podium did not have late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's name.
"We will disrupt the 'Sahitya Sammelan' if there is an attempt to rename the podium," Athawale said.
"Thackeray had ties with literature and journalism. Opposing the naming of the podium after him shows narrow outlook," Athawale said.
With three days to go before its inauguration on January 11, the literary meet has run into trouble, with the naming of the meet's podium after Thackeray having been opposed by some renowned Marathi authors and poets.
Well-known author and social activist Puspha Bhave was the first one to express her displeasure. "Balasaheb never had a good word for litterateurs," she said.
Poet Pradnya Pawar has refused to accept the invitation to the conference to protest naming the podium after Thackeray.
Shiv Sena threatened that it would not allow Bhave to enter Chiplun, the venue of the literary meet, where she was invited by the police to speak at a special programme for women. After the Sena's ultimatum, police asked Bhave not to attend the function.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar also said he supported the decision to name the podium after Thackeray.