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RJD workers burn Thackeray's effigy

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | December 23, 2003 19:56 IST

Workers of the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar burnt Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray in effigy in Patna today to protest against his verbal attacks on RJD president Laloo Prasad Yadav.

RJD workers across Bihar protested against Thackeray and warned that they would carry their protests across India, including in Mumbai, if Thackeray failed to apologise to Yadav.

Writing in the Sena daily Saamna on Monday, Thackeray had warned Yadav to mind his language or face the wrath of Shiv Sena activists. He was reacting to Yadav's statements on Biharis being targeted in Mumbai.

In turn, the RJD protestors led by Patna RJD politician Khurshid Alam Siddiqui shouted slogans against Thackeray and warned him to "mind his tongue or face difficulty in moving around in Mumbai itself".

"We will not tolerate abuse against Lalooji," RJD general secretary Ram Kirpal Yadav said.

What angered the RJD workers most was Thackeray's statement calling Yadav a 'Bihari bhainsa' (buffalo from Bihar). Even leftist leaders like S B Bhaskar came forward to protest against it. "Laloo is not a regional leader like Thackeray," Bhaskar said. "He enjoys popularity across India for championing social justice and communal harmony."

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