Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday accused the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) of promoting regionalism in Mumbai.
She said this divisive approach would not be tolerated any further and voters would show the two parties their place when the city goes to polls on April 30.
Addressing a moderate rally at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Gandhi said the city belonged all Indians and the Sena's and MNS' anti-migrant stand showed their narrow mentality.
“This division (of people) will not be tolerated any more,” she said. “You must not vote such parties in the Lok Sabha elections because they deal entirely with the regional issues and not the national ones.”
She said the people from across the country had come to the city’s rescue during the 26/11 terror attacks. “The parties who propose to deny migrants their rights should know this.”
The city’s diversity had transformed it into “India’s gateway”, she said. “People of all castes, creeds and religions come from various other states and they contribute to the city’s overall development. To me, this is the most lovable city.”
In an attempt to connect with the Marathi voter, Gandhi drew a parallel between Mumbaiites and the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji. “The city has got the courage of king Shivaji,” she said. “The city showed this grit and courage in abundance while it recovered so quickly after the terror attacks last year.”
She appreciated the city' police for fighting the terrorists bravely. “I salute them for sacrificing their lives in the fight.” She said the Congress was the only party that can “secure your life and help you restore your honour”.
Addressing the city’s financial concerns, Gandhi said that the economic slowdown was a challenge. “But we need to have a stable government to fight it (the slowdown) successfully. The Congress is the only party that will give a stable government at the Centre.”
Earlier, the Congress leader held a rally in support of the four Congress-NCP candidates in Thane district.