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Don't write me off: Bal Thackeray
October 23, 2004 12:46 IST
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray on Friday warned opponents and the media not to write him off in the wake of his party's defeat in the recently-held assembly polls in Maharashtra.
"I am like a tiger who is wounded, but will definitely retaliate one day. I may have been confined to a cage but don't dare to tease me," he said addressing the traditional Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai.
Asserting the Sena will stage a comeback, Thackeray said the responsibility for the party's defeat in the assembly polls lay with his own men, the Marathi manus (the Maharashtrian population).
He also accused the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine of resorting to malpractices like luring voters with money power to win the assembly polls.
On the issue of non-Maharashtrians, he said, those who had migrated to the metropolis before 1995 were welcome, but it was essential that the non-Maharashtrians integrate themselves with the culture and ethos of Maharashtra.
Thackeray said the Sena is not against the non-Maharashtrian population but accused them of maintaining a separate identity thus attracting the tag of being outsiders from the Sena.
He pointed out that some of the first persons nominated by Sena to the Rajya Sabha were non-Maharashtrians, including Chandrika Kenia, Ram Jethmalani, Pritish Nandy, Sanjay Nirupam and Mukesh Patel.
Pointing out that a number of non-Maharashtrians have also been included in the state ministry, Thackeray said this was possible only in Maharashtra, which is a melting point for various cultures and communities.
He, however, warned that the Sena would not tolerate non-Maharashtrians resorting to a hate campaign against Maharashtrians.
"This is our state and we will not allow you to conquer it just because you are in greater numbers," the Sena chief said.
Reiterating his tough stand against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in the metropolis, Thackeray said the Sena is planning to launch an agitation to flush illegal Bangladeshis out of Mumbai.
He said the agitation should not be construed as directed against the Bengali population in the city, saying, "Bengalis are our brothers."
More reports from Maharashtra
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