Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray-led MNS on Tuesday came together to take on Samajwadi party MLA Abu Asim Azmi warning him against speaking against Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.
Shiv Sena also tacitly supported Maharashtra Navnirman Sena for objecting to Azmi taking oath in Hindi and not in Marathi and said he himself was responsible for the ruckus in the state Assembly on Monday.
The Sena mouthpiece Saamana in an editorial comment said, "What can you do if a rowdy from Bhindi Bazar (Azmi) insults Marathi in an act with political implications?" It however criticised MNS for the violence in the House.
Shortly after Shiv Sainiks gheraoed Azmi in Vidhan Bhawan premises for his anti-Bal Thackeray remarks; MNS legislators also came out in defence of the 83-year old Sena chief. Commenting on the Saamna editorial, Azmi had remarked, "Thackeray has gotten old and speaks like a child."
"MNS will not tolerate a single word against Balasaheb. We will force Azmi to leave Mumbai if he speaks anything against Thackeray," MNS group leader in Assembly Bala Nandgaokar said. MNS broke away from Sena three years back.
Thackeray is akin to God for lakhs of people in Maharashtra and no one will tolerate anything against him, he said.
Warning Azmi against making remarks against Bal Thackeray, Sena MLA Eknath Shinde said, "Azmi will not be allowed to roam around if he dare say anything against Bala saheb."
Sena leader Subhash Desai also condemned Azmi's statement and said, "Sena will teach Azmi a lesson in its own style."
Four MNS MLAs were suspended yesterday from Maharashtra Assembly for assaulting Azmi for taking oath in Hindi and not in Marathi in unprecedented scenes in the House.