Bal Thackeray
IANS

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president Raj Thackeray alleged that Shiv Sena intends to get hold of the mayor's bungalow by using it to house a memorial to his late uncle Bal Thackeray.

The remark comes hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that a grand memorial to the Shiv Sena founder will come up at the mayor's bungalow at Shivaji Park.

"In a city like Mumbai, is it so difficult for the government to find an open plot for constructing the memorial? Why only the mayor's bungalow? Do they 'want' a memorial or the bungalow," IANS quoted Raj Thackeray as saying.

The MNS chief said the move is not legal as government properties cannot be altered into memorials, especially because of the historic importance of the mayor's bungalow, which is a heritage site.

"Today they are in power so they are converting the mayor bungalow to a memorial... Tomorrow, will they do the same in Raj Bhavan or Rashtrapati Bhavan? Will they construct a memorial in 'Varsha' (Maharashtra chief minister's official residence in Malabar Hill)," he asked.

Raj Thackeray, however, said he wast not against building a grand memorial for the Shiv Sena founder, but that it should be built somewhere else.

Earlier, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said that Shivaji Park is the appropriate location for the memorial as it is Sena's "karma bhoomi." 

"Several locations were considered and all were good for the memorial. But Shivaji Park is the Sena's 'karma bhoomi' and we accept the mayor's bungalow here for the Thackeray memorial," IANS quoted Uddhav Thackeray as saying.

CM Fadnavis had also assured that the mayor's bungalow would not be destroyed while constructing the Thackeray memorial.