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Home > India > News > Report

'Respect Marathi manoos or leave Mumbai'

February 09, 2008 18:18 IST

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Accusing north Indians of using their religious festival Chhath Puja in the metropolis as a means of show of strength, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday said he would not allow them to 'browbeat' Marathi people.

"I am not against Chhath Puja. But what I oppose is that it is used as a means of show of strength," he said.

While hitting out at north Indians, Thackeray did not even spare Hindi and English channels and he barred them from covering his press conference, alleging they were giving a distorted picture about him.

Thackeray alleged that while covering his news, the channels, especially the Hindi ones, were behaving in a partisan manner supporting north Indians in its coverage.

He also criticised them for speculating about his possible arrest.

"The police have not taken any action against me, the court has not found me guilty, but these channels are reporting with preconceived notion that I am guilty. This is the reason that I have barred them from covering this press conference," he added.

He denied that he had spearheaded the anti-north Indian agitation to checkmate his cousin Uddhav Thackeray and said such accusations are baseless.

Thackeray also asserted that violence against North Indians in the metropolis will be repeated if provoked again.

The February 3 violence in Mumbai was the reaction to the foul language used by the north Indians against the Maharashtra 'manoos' (people).

"It was not us who are to blame but the Samajwadi Party whose city president Abu Asim Azmi, who had said: hum lathi baatenge (we will distribute batons)." Raj said, adding, "If they would do so then we would distribute swords."

"New immigrants should be denied entry into the city, while those already staying here should stay with respect to the Marathi 'manoos' and their culture," he added.