Mumbai, Mar 19: The rampage of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers spread to Thane on Monday as they pulled down more Gujarati signboards. Earlier, they had destroyed such signboards in Vasai. The incident gains significance in the light of MNS chief Raj Thackeray’s call yesterday for a ‘Modi-mukt Bharat’ in 2019. The motto was reminiscent of BJP’s Congress-mukt Bharat slogan. He had also said that Vasai felt like Gujarat, hinting at the large Gujarati population in the district. At a party rally on Sunday on the occasion of Gudi Padwa, Thackeray had called for a united Opposition to bring down the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
Speaking to PTI, Thane region president of MNS Avinash Jadhav said, “Thane and Vasai are districts in Maharashtra, not Gujarat. We will not tolerate signboards in Gujarati anymore.”
Over the years, MNS has repeatedly attacked migrant workers from UP and Bihar in an attempt to cleanse as well as retain the state’s marathi identity. Sporadic episodes of shops being vandalised for not displaying signboards in Marathi have been reported in media. The latest attack follows party chief’s call for ridding the country of Modi (a Gujarati).
On Sunday, Thackeray had insisted that the public was tired of Modi’s false promises. Attacking the BJP-led NDA, he had said that if demonetisation was ever probed, it would turn out to be the biggest scam ever. While voicing his support to Ram temple in Ayodhya, Thackeray had said that he knew the BJP would bring up the Ayodhya issue to incite communal violence.
Interestingly, Thackeray had met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar ahead of Sundays’ rally.