Shiv Sena [ Images ] chief Bal Thackeray [ Images ] on Saturday urged leaders of Maharashtra [ Images ] and the 'Bihar lobby' in the media to learn lessons from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [ Images ] and not compromise when it comes to protecting the 'dignity of Maharashtra' before the world.
In an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray said that more than any law and order issue, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was clearly apprehensive about the impact on Bihari Muslim votes on his Janata Dal-United, which is allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] in that state.
"Modi has vengefully hit back at Nitish Kumar this time. In the process, he has barred all other top Bihari leaders in the BJP, including its Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar [ Images ] Modi, national-level leaders like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shahnawaz Hussain and others. By keeping all Bihari leaders out, Modi has irritated not only Nitish Kumar, but all the people of Bihar," Thackeray said in his editorial.
He pointed out that all of them have chosen to remain silent on Modi's outburst and nobody has even questioned him on the issue, while in Gujarat, everybody has quietly accepted it as a matter of that state's ''dignity''.
There are no agitations either in Patna or in New Delhi [ Images ], no black flag demonstrations, no slogans or even murmurs of protest over Modi's blanket 'ban' on all Bihari leaders, including from his own party, campaigning in Gujarat.
"However, if such a thing had happened in Maharashtra, all Bihar leaders would have come down to protect the dignity of Biharis, migrants, workers. Even minor leaders from Maharashtra and people like Lalu Prasad would have raised the matter at the national level," Thackeray said.
"This time, when it involves Gujarat, they (Bihari leaders) have meekly kept their tail hidden between their legs, proving that as far as Gujarat is concerned, besides Modi, nobody else counts," Thackeray said.