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Raj Thackeray uses Brexit to target migrants, compares Maharashtra with the UK

india Updated: Jun 27, 2016 09:34 IST
HT Correspondent
Raj Thackeray

File photo of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.  The MNS chief has said used the example of Brexit and said that Maharashtra was facing similar problems as the UK. (Satish Bate/HT Photo )

Maharashtra was facing similar problems as the UK, which pulled out of the European Union as “outsiders” were taking away jobs leading to unemployment among locals, MNS chief Raj Thackeray has said, using Brexit to queer the pitch against migrants.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief said “Marathi Manoos” in the state were losing out to “outsiders”. The problem was prevalent across the world but whenever he raised the issue, he was labelled narrow-minded, he told a gathering here on Saturday.

“England pulled out from the European Union (EU) out of anger, as locals there were not getting jobs. They also have no work like Maharashtrian youth, as ‘outsiders’ had grabbed all the opportunities,” he said.

The MNS thrives on an anti-migrant agenda and has on numerous occasions targeted people from outside the state, especially east India, and their businesses. A few weeks ago Thackeray even called for setting on fire autorickshaws, alleging most of the licences were given to “outsiders”.

“We have jobs in Maharashtra but outsiders are getting them. They are also getting admission in educational institutions depriving our children of their rights,” Thackeray said.

Britain’s shock decision to exit the EU has set the country on an uncertain path, dealt a huge blow to the European Union and rattled the markets world over. The “leave” campaign had ratcheted up anti-immigrant rhetoric in the run-up to the last week’s vote but has since climbed down on it.

Local children should get priority in jobs and education and what is left could be shared with “others”, Thackeray said. “…Then India is my country and all Indians are my brother and sisters, ‘’ the MNS chief said, mocking a popular pledge schoolchildren recite.

The rhetoric is expected to get shriller as the state moves closer to civic body elections due in 2017.