Raj Thackeray demands more powers for state

  • Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 27, 2014 01:22 IST

In what may ruffle feathers, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has demanded that the state be given greater powers to make its laws and policies, instead of depending on the Centre.

Thackeray, while unveiling his blueprint to kick-start the party’s campaign for the Assembly polls, also spoke about Marathi pride and making Marathi the medium of education. “I know this is going to create controversy, but I want to clarify that the state should get more powers and it shouldn’t have to depend on the Centre for basic things. Narendra Modi, when he was the Gujarat CM, had also demanded more powers for his state. So, now that he is the PM, he will have to agree to this demand,” said Thackeray, sticking to the party’s new development-oriented mode.

While Thackeray stuck to his guns on migration and toll tax collection, his demand for more autonomy is bound to raise eyebrows. Elaborating on the demand, Thackeray said, “Even the coastal regulation zone guidelines are an example of how this is a flawed process. How can a babu sitting in Delhi decide what is good for Mumbai?”

The demand is just a part of the remodelling that Thackeray has initiated to revitalise his party’s fortunes. Insiders said Thackeray fine-tuned the plan after witnessing Modi’s Lok Sabha campaign. “The thrust on his earlier issues will remain, but they will be seen through the prism of development,” said a party MLA.

For instance, Thackeray stuck to his guns on migration, but minus the violence. “Facilities and jobs planned for locals can’t go to migrants,” he said.

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