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Rediff.com  » News » Mill workers' 'morcha': Uddhav calls for Mumbai bandh, Raj opposes

Mill workers' 'morcha': Uddhav calls for Mumbai bandh, Raj opposes

July 28, 2011 15:35 IST
Estranged Thackeray cousins -- Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray participated -- though not together -- in a morcha for the cause of textile mill workers in Mumbai on Thursday.

Uddhav warned of a Mumbai bandh on August 1 if the government fails to take a decision of mill workers' demands, including providing free houses to them.

"Getting free houses is the birthright of mill workers," he said, addressing a meeting at Azad Maidan in South Mumbai where the march, which began from Byculla culminated.

Raj, who joined the morcha shortly after Uddhav, Sena leader Manohar Joshi, Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawale and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinod Tawde joined it, however, did not attend the Azad Maidan meeting. He returned shortly after the morcha had reached Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus.

The MNS chief later said he was opposed to the Mumbai bandh and there was no need to hold Mumbaikars to ransom. "The legislature session is going on and the Opposition has shown strong unity in the House over the issue," he added.

Actor Nana Patekar, who was a prominent participant, hoped that there would not be a need for the Mumbai bandh if the government accepted mill workers demand. "I know that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is a considerate person and am sure he would consider the just demands of the mill workers," he said.

Several associations of textile industry workers, thousands of whom became jobless after prolonged strikes since early 1980s organised the morcha, which started from Veermata Jeejabai garden at Byculla.

The issue also figured in the legislature with the Assembly being adjourned three times before being adjourned for the day as noisy Opposition members sought a discussion and "favourable decision" on the matter.

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