The party raised objections against statements made by Subhash Desai comparing Bal Thackeray with Mahatma Gandhi who had fought for the nation’s freedom struggle.
Congress has expressed its displeasure over Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Industries Minister Subhash Desai comparing Bal Thackeray with Mahatma Gandhi over a proposal to construct memorial for the late party supremo. According to the party, Mahatma Gandhi is a national leader and is respected across the nation and the world whereas Bal Thackeray is more popular in Maharashtra. The party also added that Gandhiji had made various sacrifices for the sake of gaining freedom for the country. He was imprisoned many times.
“Gandhiji had made immense contribution for Indian’s independence but Balasaheb has indulged in politics of division. Gandhi was a pan-India leader whereas Thackeray was known as a state leader. We don’t undermine Thackeray’s contribution but it is irrelevant to compare both leaders,” said a Congress leader on the condition of anonymity.
A memorial for Thackeray who passed away in November 2012, is proposed at the current residence of Mumbai Mayor at Shivaji Park in Dadar. The new residence of Mayor will be constructed at Byculla zoo.
“If Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial was constructed even though he didn’t hold any constitutional post then why are people opposing Balasaheb’s memorial? Thackeray was a great leader. Not only Shiv Sena but even the common man supports the construction of his memorial. People have immense respect for him and if a memorial is built for Thackeray then it will be the right way to pay tributes to him. Therefore the government has taken the right decision to build his memorial,” said Desai.
“Many people are asking why should a memorial be built for Thackeray who didn’t even hold a constitutional post. The scenario is not different in case of Mahatma Gandhi yet his memorial has been constructed in several states but then nobody raised any objections about it. The state government will take a right decision pertaining to the construction of Thackeray’s memorial,” he added.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) secretary Al-Nasser Zakaria said that it is not right to compare both Gandhi and Thackeray.
He said, “Gandhiji is known as the father of the nation and he had played a vital role in India’s freedom struggle. Even though Balasaheb is widely respected by everyone it would be outrageous to compare him with Gandhiji.”
“What else can be expected from the Shiv Sena leaders apart from hooliganism, making outrageous comments and being a part of the Maharashtra government just to ensure the party does not disintegrate and become a part of history,” he added.