Raj Thackeray Anti-Bihari Remark Draws Flak; Parties Demand Action
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray's anti-Bihari statements created a huge uproar across the state, with Bihar's ruling JD (U) and several other parties on Saturday demanding action against MNS in the country.
On Friday, Thackeray made a remark on Biharis when he was responding to a letter of Bihar Chief Secretary warning the Mumbai police commissioner not to detain or look for people in Bihar without seeking prior permission. The letter was written to express displeasure on behalf of the Bihar police over the arrest of Abdul Qadir Mohammed Younus Ansari from Sitamarhi village for his alleged involvement in damaging the Amar Jawan Memorial near Azad Maidan earlier in August.
"If the Bihar government tries to become a hurdle in the way of a police investigation, then my party would dub every Bihari in Maharashtra as an infiltrator and would force them to leave the state. The person who desecrated the Amar Jawan memorial was arrested from Bihar. I would like to tell the Bihar chief secretary that because of your state, the crime rate (in Maharashtra) has gone up," Thackeray responded.
Thackeray's statement was soon picked up by all political parties across the country. As a reminder to Thackery, Congress leader Digvijay Singh said that the MNS chief has a Bihari background and his family settled in Dhar in western Madhya Pradesh before moving to Mumbai.
"If you look at the history of Mumbai, it is a city of fishermen. Rest all have settled there from outside," Singh said to Press Trust of India.
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Thackeray was also condemned by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Girija Singh who said that he should be booked for sedition.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday also took to criticising Thackeray's statement, saying, "His remarks are unwarranted and objectionable. It is time Centre did something to check the likes of Raj Thackeray, who has been spreading venom of regionalism. Maharashtra government has been in fact protecting him and even buckled under his pressure and removed the Mumbai Police Commissioner recently."
The ruling party JD (U) raised concern over Thackeray's habit of throwing tantrums over north Indians.
"The MNS chief has been spewing venom for past many years against north Indians, including those from Bihar, settled in Mumbai and Maharashtra," JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar said.
Meanwhile, a local lawyer on Saturday filed a complaint against Thackeray in the court of the chief judicial magistrate for his anti-Bihari remark. The court has accepted the charges against him and will hear the case on Monday. The MNS leader has been booked under Sections 124A (for treason) and 153.
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