RPI-A men burn Raj Thackeray effigy

Aug 23, 2012, 09:00 IST | A Correspondent

Raj Thackeray's fiery speech at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Tuesday, in which he condemned Dalit leaders for remaining mum on the August 11 violence, succeeded in raising the hackles of members of city-based Republican Party of India (Athavale).

As a mark of protest against the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, members of the RPI(A) burnt an effigy of Thackeray in front of the District Collector’s office and demanded that a complaint be lodged against him.

All fired up: RPI workers set the MNS chief’s effigy ablaze yesterday

The reaction came after the Thackeray’s attack against RPI(A) on the issue of desecration of Buddha statues in Uttar Pradesh. Dr Siddhartha Dhende, RPI (A) group leader in the PMC, who conducted the protest said Thackeray’s statement about Dalit leaders not only hurt the sentiments of the community, but seems like an attempt to widen the rift between the peoples.

“Lord Gautam Buddha does not belong to any particular community and therefore, other political parties should have also raised their voices. At that time Thackeray and his party didn’t do anything, which shows his mentality towards the Dalit community,” Dhende said.

Reacting to Thackeray’s statement wherein he had said that he only believes in one religion, which is Maharashtra, Dhende said, “If he really praises Maharashtra, then why did he refuse to give space in Indu Mills for a memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, who was greatest leader of Maharashtra?”
He added that leaders of his party did not react on the Azad Maidan violence as would have led to law and order situation. Dhende met District Collector Vikas Deshmukh and gave him a letter to lodge a complaint against Thackeray.  

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