Political parties welcome arrest of MNS chief

October 21st, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayNew Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Political parties across the spectrum Tuesday welcomed the arrest of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray following the attacks on north Indians by his party cadre in Mumbai on Sunday. Following are the reactions:

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader V.K. Malhotra said: “What MNS is doing is absolutely wrong, and the country is for everyone. I condemn the beating of students in Maharashtra. The state chief minister (Vilasrao Deshmukh) remained quiet during all this time. The Congress is encouraging Raj to combat the Shiv Sena in the state. We will demand the resignation of Deshmukh.”

BJP spokesperson Sushma Swaraj said: “Had the Maharashtra government acted on time, the north Indians would not have been beaten up by the goons of MNS. It only shows the ineptness of the Congress government.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said: “”More stringent action is required against people who carry out such actions in the name of regionalism.”

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) head and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said: “The congress is promoting Raj. His stand is unconstitutional and the election commission should ban the MNS.”

Brinda Karat, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader, said: “It is too late because Raj Thackeray has been making derogatory speeches every day since the beginning of this year and urging his supporters to attack Hindi speaking people. The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government has supported his acts for a long period.”

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said: “The state government should not take a soft approach on him when the matter comes up in court. He is a person who has threatened the integrity and unity of the country. The government should protect peoples’ right to move from one place to another, which is ensured in our constitution.

Shivraj Patil, home minister, said: “We have issued three advisories to the state government. We have expressed our anguish and anger and I have also personally talked to the chief minister (Deshmukh) on the issue. Anyone from any part of the country can work and live anywhere. No one can stop them.

“What has happened, should not happen in Maharashtra or anywhere. That is as it should be,” Patil said during Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

Thackeray was arrested early Tuesday in connection with the beating up of some north Indian candidates at a railway recruitment examination centre in Chetana College, Bandra East, on Sunday.

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