Lata Mangeshkar’s family is not in favour of a memorial to the legendary singer at Shivaji Park. In a statement, her brother and music director Pandit Hridayanath Mangeshkar said the family opposed any memorial on the ground.
Also, Shivaji Park residents, who have voiced objection to a memorial coming up on the sprawling ground, will draw comfort from Hridayanath’s statement, said, observers. They plan to start a signature campaign to stall the move, learnt.
The memorial issue has also assumed political overtones, much to the discomfiture of the Mangeshkar. BJP has been vocal about a Lata memorial in the park, where she was cremated last Sunday.
BJP MLA Ram Kadam, who floated the idea, wrote to NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CM Uddhav Thackeray in this connection, learnt.
However, MNS and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) have opposed the proposal.
Maidan Bachao Samiti has been distributing pamphlets in the area about the issue. “There are hardly any open grounds where children can play and senior citizens can take a walk. There shouldn’t be any encroachment on the park,” said Eknath Mane, Samiti chief.
Many residents are miffed with parties for raking up a controversy in the name of the iconic singer.
But Political analysts said BJP could well be tapping the Lata legend to take on Sena. With Shivaji Park as the political proscenium, ahead of BMC elections. Pandit Hridayanath, in his statement, urged ‘netas’ not to drag his sister into an unsavoury row.
Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik has requested an allocation of Rs 5 crore for a state-of-the-art music academy and museum in Lata’s memory.
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