MVA attacks Raj Thackeray for 'failed agitations', wants BJP's clarification

Congress's state chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said the BJP must define its stance on its Kaiserganj MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh's warning that Raj Thackeray would not be allowed to set foot in Ayodhya next month (June 5) until he apologises with folded hands for "humiliating" north Indians in the past.

Maharashtra's ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi on Friday again targeted Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray over his "failed" agitations and demanded the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party should clarify its stand over its Uttar Pradesh MP's threats to him.

Congress's state chief spokesperson Atul Londhe said the BJP must define its stance on its Kaiserganj MP Brijbhushan Sharan Singh's warning that Raj Thackeray would not be allowed to set foot in Ayodhya next month (June 5) until he apologises with folded hands for "humiliating" north Indians in the past.

"On the other hand hand, the state BJP endorsed Raj Thackeray on the loudspeakers issue and the UP BJP government is ready to welcome him with a red carpet in Ayodhya. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil should clarify their stand on these issues," Londhe demanded.

He also accused BJP of using the MNS chief, independent MP Navneet Kaur-Rana and her MLA husband Ravi Rana as "puppets" and supporting the MNS for removing loudspeakers from mosques.

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In a sharp attack, Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said in Pune that none of Raj Thackeray's agitations in the past have been successful but adversely hit the state and the social fabric.

Without naming Raj Thackeray, he cited the examples of the MNS' past agitation against the north Indian communities and the toll-tax protests on highway, and the latest against mosque loudspeakers and 'azaan' which it is countering with Hanuman Chalisa.

Pawar pointed out that those agitations continued for some days and then nothing materialised out of them, but it ended up affecting the state and the society, and north Indians fled the city, hitting various economic sectors badly till they returned.

In 2008, the MNS had gone after the north Indian candidates for various government and railway exams and also hammered street vendors in the name of priority of jobs for locals.

However, 10 years later in 2018 - ahead of the 2019 Parliament and Assembly elections - Raj Thackeray attempted to soothe the ruffled feathers of the north Indians, but the strategy barely impressed them.

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In the latest anti-loudspeakers campaign, though a majority of the mosques in Mumbai and others parts of the state have silenced or removed their public address systems, murmurs of protests have started from the other religions as they are unable to use loudspeakers in temples, gurudwaras, Buddh Viharas, Jain Derasars, churches and others even for their routing pooja-aartis and other religious functions.