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Raj warns against celebrating UP day, threatens violence
February 16, 2008 20:28 IST
Maintaining his tough stand towards north Indians, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has vowed not to allow celebration of Uttar Pradesh day and warned his party will take on 'political goondaism' of north Indians in Maharashtra with open hands.
"No programme like UP Day, which shows north Indians' poltical goondaism will be allowed to take place here (Mumbai). We will first request them with folded hands. If that does not work, we will face them with open hands," Thackeray said in an interview to Marathi weekly Lokprabha.
Raj said he did not subscribe to the view that his party's anti-north Indians campaign was unconstitutional.
"One must abide by the basic principles of the Constitution. But its intricacies keep changing. Don't we amend the Constitution?" Thackeray said.
"Today's issues were non-existent when the Constitution was drafted. The situation has changed now," he said.
Justifying his objection to influx of migrants into Mumbai, Raj said, "Am I the only one who has this grievance? Sheila Dixit and Prabha Rau said the same thing. Similar sentiments are expressed in Assam".
"Hasn't somebody said that every generation has its constitution?" Raj added, referring to Thomas Jefferson's quote.
As to MNS workers indulging in violence and the law and order situation arising out of it, Raj said, "We had to take to the streets so that north Indians did not damage the law and order situation permanently. Even Gandhi and Bhagat Singh had to break the law".
Asked why he never objected to Mayawati holding a rally in Mumbai, Raj said, "Mayawati named towns in her state after King Shahu, Jyotiba Phule and Dr Ambedkar. All three were social reformers from Maharashtra. She took them to UP".
"I respect those who respect Marathi culture. I am opposed to those who aim to destroy Marathi culture," he said.
On Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar [Images] criticising him for his campaign against north Indians, Raj said, "That's this state's misfortune. I myself don't have a father. These two leaders should have given me blessings as father-figures. But they have various compulsions".
On Bal Thackeray backing Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan, whom Raj had targetted for allegedly being loyal to Uttar Pradesh, Raj said, "You will understand it when you turn 82 (Bal Thackeray's current age). I won't talk more about it. But I have inherited love for Maharashtrians from Prabodhankar Thackeray (his grandfather)".