A day after Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna
carried an editorial against Biharis, Sena Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut said Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh should be thankful to his party for standing up to defend the state's image.
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh parliamentarians had raised the issue of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's anti-north Indian campaign in the Parliament earlier this week. MNS chief Raj Thackeray was criticised by several people, including Janata Dal (U) MP Prabhunath Singh who equated Raj with Punjab militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. "We had one Bhindranwale. Don't create another. It is not good for the unity of the country," said Singh. He also asked that the RBI headquarters be moved from Mumbai to Delhi.
Then the Shiv Sena, in an attempt to recapture the Marathi sons-of-the-soil plan from Raj, targeted Biharis, calling them an "unwanted lot" in all parts of the country. A Saamna
editorial said: "They are not wanted in southern India, Assam and also Punjab and Chandigarh. The Biharis have antagonised local population wherever they had settled. The UP-Bihari MPs have shown their ingratitude towards Mumbai and Maharashtra with an anti-Marathi tirade in Parliament."
The editorial also termed Bihar MP Prabhunath Singh a "murderer" and added that "his place is in jail but he is in Parliament".