Stage set for Bal Thackeray's first death anniversary Sunday

Mumbai, Nov 16 : The Shiv Sena plans to make a political and an emotional statement on the first death anniversary of its charismatic founder Bal Thackeray here Sunday.

Over a million Shiv Sainiks from all over Maharashtra and other parts of the country are expected to reach Shivaji Park Sunday to pay homage to Thackeray's memory.

Top leaders of allies, Bharatiya Janata Party and Republican Party of India (A), besides others from around the country are expected to join the gathering.

Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu and top police officials reviewed all arrangements to ensure that the event passes off smoothly.

On Sunday morning, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya, family members and top party leaders will converge to pay floral tributes and remember the leader who harboured a special love for Shivaji Park and built the party single-handedly from 1966.

Thackeray passed away Nov 17 last year and a day later his public funeral was held at Shivaji Park with a gathering of nearly two million people.

A year later, the cremation site was converted into 'Smruti Udyan' - a small, beautiful landscaped garden with colourful flowers swaying in the cool early winter breeze blowing from the Arabian Sea, barely a stone's throw away.

The garden has mollified partymen who have been demanding a Thackeray memorial.

Besides the main commemoration at Shivaji Park, party units in Mumbai and across the state will organise blood donation camps and other social activities to remember Thackeray.

Senior leader Subhash Desai's three-day commemoration event 'Thackeray Dynasty', which saw senior party leaders and old colleagues of the late Sena chief recalling their memories with him, will conclude Sunday.

Thackeray had founded the Shiv Sena in July 1966 from his former residence near Shivaji Park.

That year in October, He held his first Dassehra Rally at the venue in October 1966, which became an annual event.

--IANS (Posted on 16-11-2013)

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