The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena on Sunday endorsed the views of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and said Marathi songs should be played on private FM radio channels in the state.
"Bal Thackeray has rightly taken up this sensitive and urgent issue which is of great relevance to all the Marathi lovers in the state. The channels that air in Maharashtra should give equal importance to Marathi and Hindi songs," MNS vice president V. Saraswat told.
Thackeray on Saturday asked private FM radio channels to broadcast Marathi songs within a week or "face a Sena-style agitation".
"It has been noticed that many FM channels do not play Marathi songs. They should start airing them in a week or Sena would launch an agitation," he said in a statement.
Saraswat also mentioned that priority should be given to employing Maharashtrians in these organisations. "It is not about reserving employment opportunities for Marathi Manoos. It is about giving them priority," he said.
"It is a government rule that local residents should be given priority in employment, MNS is just following and abiding to that," he added. "We are just protecting the rights of Marathi Manoos."
Thackeray in his editorial had mentioned that radio channels are bound to give importance to Marathi audiences.
"Betrayal of Marathi language in Maharashtra will not be tolerated," he said.
"It should not be forgotten that the entire film and music industry is based in Mumbai, a part of Maharashtra. If radio channels can play songs in Punjabi and in other regional languages, why are Marathi songs not being played?" Thackeray questioned.