MUMBAI: Hours after Union minister Narayan Rane paid tributes at the memorial of the late Bal Thackeray here, Shiv Sena workers on Thursday washed the area with `gomutra’ (cow urine) and performed milk `abhishek’ to `purify’ it.

Some Sena leaders had earlier objected to the visit by Rane, who fell out with the party founder Bal Thackeray, his mentor, in 2005, to the memorial in the Shivaji Park area of central Mumbai.

After his visit, Appa Patil, a local Sena worker, washed the spot where Rane had offered floral tribute with cow urine, and performed `abhishek’ on the portrait of the late leader by pouring milk.

“Rane came here to pay tributes to Balasaheb, but at the same time he criticizes the party formed by him. This place had become impure by his visit, so we wanted it to clean it up,” Patil told reporters.

Rane, a former Maharashtra chief minister who quit the Sena to join the Congress and later crossed over to the BJP in 2019, started his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ in Mumbai on Thursday.

He was inducted in the Union cabinet recently.

Local Sena MP Vinayak Raut said Bal Thackeray would never give blessings to people such as Rane.

On Wednesday, Raut had said that Shiv Sainiks will not allow the Union MSME Minister to visit the memorial as he had split the party founded by Thackeray.

But Sena workers did not stage any protest during Rane’s visit.

The BJP criticized the Sena workers’ act of washing the memorial.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar said that Bal Thackeray was not anyone’s “private property”.

Ashish Shelar, another BJP leader, said the Sena should stop such “nautanki” (drama).

“The party should first purify itself for joining hands with Congress, and also the NCP whose leader Chhagan Bhujbal had put Balasaheb in jail,” he said.