BMC Election: Raj Thackeray falls back on 'Marathi manoos vs outsiders' tirade

Feb 16, 2017, 05:59 IST | A Correspondent

MNS chief Raj Thackeray addressed a rally in Thane yesterday
MNS chief Raj Thackeray addressed a rally in Thane yesterday

Like a one-trick pony, Raj Thackeray is back to picking on migrants. While addressing party workers in Thane, Thackeray said that the city is in bad shape because of the large number of migrants there.

'Outsider' problem
"Thane is one of the districts in the country where there is a rapid increase in the population compared to other districts in the country, and this is happening because the number of outsiders coming to Thane is very high," Thackeray said.

Raj also raised the issue of Marathi people who had been cheated by builders. "The government exhibits the guts to remove Marathi people from their houses saying that they were residing in illegal houses in Diva. But, the same courage is not displayed when it comes to take action against the migrants and outsiders illegally occupying the buildings that have no administrative approvals or permissions," said Raj, adding, "This was deliberately done because government takes the Marathi manoos for granted."

To emphasise this point, he also took a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, stating: "CM speaks in Hindi during the campaign rally and this is being done to woo the Hindi-speaking voters."

Short-lived respite
Raj's tirade against 'outsiders' comes after a brief respite, when the MNS was making attempts to shed its earlier stance against north Indians. In fact, the party has even given tickets to a few north Indian candidates to contest the civic elections. In addition, mid-day had reported how the party had hired north Indian labourers to pull its campaign chariot in Dadar.

Raj also took potshots at Thane politicians, pointing out that every political leader in Thane district – cutting across party lines – is a builder or developer.

This was only his first rally in Thane, as he has been busy tending to his ailing son. Aware that their party chief is not in the position to dedicate all his time to the election campaign, the party cadre have started conducting road shows and are addressing rallies at the ward level. For instance, when the party vice-president Nayan Kadam came to know that Raj cancelled a public sabha in Kandivli, he took the initiative and addressed a few rallies in the area. Similar efforts were noticed in other areas of Mumbai. In fact, Raj appreciated the efforts taken by his cadre to bail out the party in his absence.

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