Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi on Monday described Marathi as his mother and Hindi as his grandmother, and said he was learning the local language out of respect and not fear.
"Marathi is like mother for me, but Hindi is like my grandmother. I am learning Marathi. (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief) Raj Thackeray should not think that I am learning the language out of his fear," he said.
The first-time Member of Legislative Assembly was attacked by MNS legislators inside Maharashtra assembly last year for taking the oath of office in Hindi instead of Marathi.
Talking to mediapersons, he condemned the killing of advocate Shahid Azmi in Mumbai last week. Shahid, who was the counsel of Fahim Ansari, a co-accused in the 26/11 terror attacks, and also defence lawyer for the accused in July 2006 Mumbai train blasts, was fighting for justice, he said.
To a question, Azmi said the Pune bomb blast was an inhuman act and "if any Muslim was involved, he should be hanged, but police should not harass members of the minority community in the name of investigations".
Coming out in support of actor Shah Rukh Khan, he said there was nothing wrong in what the actor said about the inclusion of Pakistani players in IPL. However, Azmi declined to comment on the expulsion of Amar Singh from the Samajwadi Party.