Mumbai, Jun 10: Will the new Sena Bhavan, being reconstructed at the old site in Dadar, be complete before the 40th anniversary of Shiv Sena on June 19?
Year of setbacks
Shiv Sainiks, down after the recent setbacks that included parting of Thackeray’s nephew Raj, senior leader Narayan Rane and several others from the Sena and stinging electoral defeats in the Konkan region that was once the stronghold of the party, are looking forward to the day when Thackeray is expected to inaugurate the new headquarters of the party in Dadar.
Incidentally, it was the new building that proved to be the final straw for Raj, who, after realising his outfit Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena was not going to get any space in it, decided to look for options outside the party.
Offices in building
Being constructed at the cost of approximately Rs 6 crore, the work on the mini-fortress started in mid-2004.
The old building, inaugurated on June 19, 1977, suffered minor damage in the serial bomb blasts of March 1993.
A two-storey car park, offices of the affiliated organisations on the third floor, an ultra-modern conference hall on the fourth and offices for Sena executive president Uddhav and chief Bal Thackeray as well as a smaller VVIP hall on the fifth floor will take up most of 12,600 sq ft construction, while the ground floor will accommodate shops from the old building.
The building was expected to be ready by October 2005, but the party suffered several setbacks last year, which slowed the completion of the building.
Efforts still on
Key Sena leader Subhash Desai confirmed efforts were on to ensure at least a token inauguration is held on June 19. “We may have a small function in the morning, where Balasaheb will throw open the building for the party. Interior works can continue after that,” he said.
Thackeray senior’s health, however, has been a major concern for party functionaries, and he may not be able to bear the strain of attending two functions in one day.
Thackeray is also slated to address party workers in the evening at Shanmukhanand Hall in King’s Circle, on June 19.
Initial plans by the party included a grand outdoor function near Sena Bhavan, followed by a function at Shanmukhanand Hall.