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NCP leader opposes Raj Thackeray’s idea to divert Shivaji memorial funds

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Vinayak-MeteA NCP leader on Friday criticised MNS chief Raj Thackeray for his reported suggestion to the Maharashtra government to divert the Rs. 100 crore meant for the Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial in the Arabian Sea, and use it to provide relief to commuters who pay toll.

Expressing shock over Thackeray’s suggestion to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan during his meeting with him, Vinayak Mete said, “Raj, who garlands Shivaji’s image on stage at every public meeting of his, has shown his real views on the great Maratha king.”

“The MNS leader should realise that Shivaji’s countless followers have been working for years to make the Shivaji memorial a reality. Who has given the right to Raj to insult Shivaji, who is akin to god for people of the state,” Mete said.

“The suggestion by Raj shows how much respect he has for Shivaji Maharaj,” Mete said.

“On the party rally stage, Raj garlands Shivaji’s statue and also bows before it. However, when it comes to the funds for memorial, he adopts selfish attitude,” Mete, who heads the “Shivsangram” organisation, said.

Mete, who is the founder president of the outfit which has been fighting for reservation for Marathi people, said, “Maharashtra won’t tolerate this and Shivsangram activists will launch a stir against the MNS leader.”

MPCC spokesperson Sachin Sawant also condemned Raj Thackeray’s suggestion, saying, “It is unfortunate that the suggestion comes from people who have all along practised politics in the name of Shivaji.”

Last week, the Maharashtra cabinet approved a proposal to allocate Rs 100 crore for installation of a statue of the warrior king off the Mumbai coast, which is expected to be the tallest in the world.

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