Bihar Day: Shiv Sena non-confrontationist, MNS belligerent

April 13th, 2012 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj Thackeray Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) The Shiv Sena Friday adopted a non-confrontationist approach on the proposed Bihar Day celebrations in Mumbai where Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will be the chief guest Sunday, in contrast to the agitational path chosen by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said if Biharis want to celebrate ‘Bihar Day’ in Maharashtra, then they should also reciprocate by celebrating ‘Maharashtra Day’ in Bihar.

“Bihar Day is April 15, while Maharashtra Day falls May 1. I only want to tell Nitish Kumar that after you return, celebrate Maharashtra Day in your state and invite our chief minister for it. It is said a good atmosphere will be created by celebrating Bihar Day here. So, celebrate Maharashtra Day and create a good atmosphere all over the country,” Thackeray said.

On the other hand, his estranged cousin and MNS chief Raj has adopted an aggressive approach vis-ŕ-vis the Bihar Day celebrations and threatened to disrupt the events here.

Addressing an election rally Thursday night, Raj made a controversial allegation that Malegaon - a Muslim-dominated town in Nashik district - had become a hub of terrorists following migrants from north India.

Since the past fortnight, the MNS has been vociferously opposing ‘Bihar Day’ celebrations and even challenged Nitish Kumar to enter Mumbai for the celebrations.

This prompted Nitish Kumar last week to comment that he was “free to travel anywhere in the country and did not need a visa to come to Mumbai”.

While Samajwadi Party state chief Abu Asim Azmi demanded that Raj must “be arrested and handcuffed”, veteran social worker Medha Patkar has sought legal action against the MNS chief for his anti-Bihari utterances.

Thackeray, however, maintained that he would spell out the Shiv Sena stand on the issue after ascertaining the views of other parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Shiv Sena and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which rules Bihar, are part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Meanwhile, as the political controversy rages, hectic preparations are under way in Mumbai where over 300,000 Bihars are expected to converge for the event in Somaiya Ground, Vidyavihar in the eastern suburbs.

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