Mumbai, Jan 23 (IANS): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday unveiled a portrait of late Hindutva icon and founder of Shiv Sena, Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray, on his 97th birth anniversary.
Present on the occasion were Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar, Speaker of Assembly Rahul Narwekar, Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, Maharashtra Council Acting Chairperson Neelam Gorhe and other dignitaries.
Also attending the event were MPs, MLAs, MLCs, Union and State ministers, members of the Thackeray clan, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, who extolled the services and contributions of the legendary politician to the state.
However, Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray, his son Aditya and most top party leaders attended a special function at Shanmukhananda Hall where glowing tributes were paid to Balasaheb Thackeray's memory by several speakers, 11 years after his passing.
Earlier in the day, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari paid floral tributes to the late Thackeray at Raj Bhavan, while Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (BSS), BJP, Sena (UBT) and other party leaders and workers offered homage to the late Thackeray at his memorial in Shivaji Park and at his statue in Colaba.
Remembering Thackeray, Prime Minister Narendra said: "I will always cherish my various interactions with him. He was blessed with rich knowledge and wit. He devoted his life to public welfare."
Top leaders like Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, Congress state President Nana Patole and other leaders across the political spectrum saluted Thackeray.
The Sena (UBT) workers across the state organised various programmes and activities to mark his birth anniversary and pledged to rededicate themselves to his ideas and teachings.
Balasaheb Thackeray, who never held any political office, but straddled like a colossus to influence state and national politics, breathed his last on November 17, 2012 in Mumbai.