Raj Thackeray has done it again.
Even as the dust is yet to settle on the hate campaign against north Indians that last year had triggered tension across the state, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief on Saturday once again raised the issue of people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar flooding the state.
This time his speech invited the ire of the Nashik administration and he was booked under a section of the Indian Penal Code dealing with spreading hatred among communities.
Thackeray, launching the Lok Sabha election campaign of the party from the Anant Kanhere Maidan in Nashik, blamed the growing north Indian population in that city for the increasing unemployment among locals.
The administration said Thackeray’s statements amounted to a violation of the election code of conduct, which bans campaigning that targets a caste or community.
Nashik District Collector P. Velrasu convened a meeting of the top brass of the police department on Sunday and ordered them to lodge a complaint against Thackeray.
“Thackeray has uttered various objectionable things against people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and I have ordered a case to be registered,” said Velrasu. “Even the Police Commissioner agreed with me.”
In his speech, Raj had taken a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati as he spoke about the growing influx of people from the north in the state.
He had reiterated his resolve to keep raising the issue of problems faced by the Marathi man because of the influx.
From February last year, Thackeray has been running a sustained campaign against north Indians and has even been arrested for it.
The MNS called the latest action pressure tactics.
“This has become a routine matter,” said MNS spokesman Nitin Sardesai. “Rajsaheb’s lawyers are studying the issue and will take appropriate steps.”