Protests continue over remarks by Raj Thackeray

February 5th, 2008 - 7:21 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi/ Mumbai, Feb 5 (ANI): People from Uttar pradesh and Bihar took out a rally in New Delhi to protest against a derogatory remark made by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray against Chhat puja.

The protestors under the banner of Purvanchal Manch, staged the demonstration and burnt the effigy of Raj Thackeray.

Violence had rocked Maharashtra on Sunday as the Samajwadi Party (SP), which is largely based in Uttar Pradesh, took out a rally despite the threat of disruption by MNS party chief Raj Thackeray.

Protesting against the stance taken by MNS, Mahabal Mishra, a MLA from Congress party has demanded Thackeray’s arrest along with a ban to be placed over his political outfit.

“We demand that the Government of Maharashtra should arrest Raj Thackeray and also ban his party. People like him who indulge in regional chauvinism and divide the country, should be put behind bars,” Mishra said.

Meanwhile, activists of the MNS again went on a rampage on the streets of Mumbai on Tuesday, pelting stones at the office of Sanjay Nirupam, a senior Congress leader and also damaged taxis.

Thackeray’s MNS partys campaign against “outsiders” has targeted migrants from northern India and accused them of robbing Maharashtrians of jobs.

Party workers have intimidated migrants, damaged vehicles and beaten up taxi drivers, most of them from the States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Amitabh Bachchan is at the centre of the regional rivalries in Mumbai, where the MNS is leading a campaign against millions of migrants who control the Maharashtras economy.

Thackeray had called Bachchan ungrateful last week, saying proof of this lay in the fact that he was building a girls’ school in Uttar Pradesh and not in Maharashtra where he succeeded as a superstar.

Jaya Bachchan, stoked the controversy by saying she did not know who Raj Thackeray was.

On Sunday, MNS workers attacked theatres screening films in Bhojpuri, beat up dozens of migrants and damaged their vehicles.

The MNS says the incidents were a spontaneous reaction by Maharashtrians angered by insults to their leaders.

The issue had surfaced in Mumbai during the 1990s when Shiv Sena attacked migrants. But the party changed their stand after realising the crucial role immigrants play in the economy.

The MNS was founded after Raj Thackeray broke away from Shiv Sena in 2005. (ANI)

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