Political parties trade charges over Raj ThackerayFebruary 13th, 2008 - 11:16 pm ICT by admin
Mumbai, Feb 13 (IANS) Main political parties in Maharashtra Wednesday traded charges among them over Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s emergence as a leading player on the state’s political stage.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Vinod Tawde squarely blamed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar “for deliberately stoking the fire“.
“Pawar wants to divide the Marathi-speaking vote bank and this is what he got done,” he said.
Noted criminal lawyer Majeed Memon of the NCP dismissed the larger than the life size image of Thackeray created by the media in the past few days, and said: “It is the Shiv Sena that is going to face the brunt of whatever little ripples Raj Thackray has made in the state through these crude antics.”
Raj Thackeray is the nephew of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Following disputes in the party, he walked out to launch his own organisation.
Congress spokesman Sanjay Nirupam said: “The manifestations of the parochial ideology espoused by Raj Thackeray had direct effect on innocent people. By doing this, Raj Thackeray will not get any political mileage like Shiv Sena, which till date has not been able to grow out of municipal corporations.”
Samajwadi Party state president Abu Asim Azmi — who was also arrested and granted bail along with Raj Thackeray — said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to request action against the MNS chief.
“I have abided by law and will fully cooperate with the police,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s office late Wednesday evening issued a terse statement stating, “They have been arrested as per law. I had already said earlier that stern action would be taken against law-breakers. People who try to disrupt law and order will face stern action and they will not be spared.”
Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil who also holds the home portfolio, appealed people not to believe in rumours being spread by vested interests.
Shiv Sena leaders and its spokesperson were not available for comment.