Bal Thackeray’s memorial is mired in controversy even before an official location has been earmarked.
A majority of Shiv sainiks and Marathi manoos feels that Balasaheb memorial should be constructed at Kohinoor Mill in Dadar. This mill land is owned by Manohar Joshi, a Marathi manoos and senior Sena leader. The 4.8-acre property was jointly bought by MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Kohinoor group, owned by Joshi, for Rs421 crore in 2005. “A memorial at Kohinoor will be a fitting tribute to Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray from Joshi sir. Whatever Joshi sir has, it is only because of Thackeray’s blessing. Now, the time has come for sir to give back his land for a memorial,” said a senior Sena leader requesting anonymity.
Vijay Kamble, senior NCP leader said Eklavya, the great warrior had given his right thumb to Dronacharya as ‘gurudakshina’. “So, Joshi should at least give Kohinoor Mill land for Thackeray’s memorial. It will help to develop the memorial without any controversy at the heart of Dadar.”
Joshi was not available to comment. His staffers told DNA: “Sir is away to immerse Thackeray’s ashes at Harihareshwar.”
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said they are searching for a big space in the city. “Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray will take the final decision over the location — Kohinoor Mill or Shivaji Park or elsewhere,” he said.
Nitin Sardesai, MNS MLA from Dadar and one of the partners in Matoshree developer where his party chief Raj Thackeray has also stake, refused to comment.
Mayur Borkar, RPI leader, said: “The issue should be sorted out by the Joshi and Thackeray family.”