Raj order goes unheeded

Jun 15, 2012, 07:11 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

Despite strict orders from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray not to put up banners wishing him on his birthday, which was yesterday, such banners and hoardings were on display in several areas of the Pune.

A few days ago, Thackeray warned members of his party against putting up banners by the roadside. Now, MNS corporators are saying the huge hoardings wishing Thackeray on his birthday have been put up by persons posing as party workers. 

Dual purpose: A hoarding at Laxmi Road wishes MNS chief Raj Thackeray on his birthday yesterday and at the same time welcomes warkaris to the city

Corporators and party officials say this has caused them much embarrassment as their names and photographs were also displayed on these banners and hoardings. 

A banner greeting Thackeray at Tulshi Baug. Pics /Krunal Gosavi

In the dark
“I don’t even know the people who put my name on the banners greeting Thackeray,” said party state general secretary Anil Shidore, whose image was displayed on a flex in Sinhagad Road.  Shidore was surprised as he had already told his party workers not to put his picture without his permission. “The people who put my photo on the banners are not even party members so we cannot take action against them,” Shidore said. 

Some of Thackeray’s well-wishers put up banners welcoming warkaris in the city, and in between inserted their birthday wishes. “Apart from Raj Saheb, we have also sent message to all our workers to follow the directions of the party chief. It seems that the people who displayed these hoardings have not taken Thackeray’s warning seriously,” MNS corporator Rupali Patil said.

Patil’s name was also displayed on a banner in Tulshi Baug on laxmi Road. “The person who displayed my name is the relative of a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena official and he did not take my permission before putting my name on the hoarding,” Patil said.

MNS group leader in the Pune Municipal Corporation house Vasant More denied there were any birthday banners in the city. “Party workers put up banners welcoming warkaris to the city. If at all any such banners greeting Thackeray were on display, then these have already been removed by party officials,” More said. He made the assurance that hoardings welcoming warkaris would also be removed after the palkhis leave the city. 

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