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Pressure on Cabinet to ban MNS

October 31, 2008 11:24 IST

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Under attack from UPA constituents like RJD and LJP on the anti-north Indian campaign in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] has directed that the "sense" of the Union Cabinet should be conveyed to the state government.

Briefing reporters today on the Cabinet meeting held last night, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that there was a discussion on the attack on north Indians and "the Prime Minister has directed the Home Minister to take the sense of the Cabinet and convey to the Maharashtra government."

The Prime Minister informed the Cabinet that he did write a "rather strongly-worded letter" to the state government, he said, adding that Home Minister Shivraj Patil [Images] spoke to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and wrote more than one letter to him.

Without going into details, Chidambaram said that "newspapers have reported extensively" on the issue that came up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting.

He parried a question whether action would be taken against MNS chief Raj Thackeray [Images].

Strong demand was reported to have been made at the Cabinet meeting for Raj Thackeray's arrest under National Security Act as also a judicial inquiry into the killing of two youth from Bihar and UP in the state.

Fertilizer Minister Ram Vilas Paswan is understood to have led the charge against Thackeray's campaign and wondered what the Centre was doing when national unity and integrity was being challenged. He was supported by RJD's P C Gupta and Raghuvans Prasad and Congress' ministers P Chidambaram, H R Bhardwaj, Kapil Sibal and S Jaipal Reddy.

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